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Great American 
Historical Classics Series 

History , ^ 

of the 

Late War in the Western Country 

By Robert B. McAfee 

Historical Publications Company 

C. S. Van Tassel, Manager 
(Home Office) Bowling Green, Ohio 


Copynght 1919 

C. S. Van Tassei 


Considerably over one hundred years have passed since 
this story of the war of 1812 was written. Peace was pro 
claimed February 18, 1815. This work came from the 
press in 1816, and in preparing the manuscript Captain 
McAfee had the direct assistance of General Harrison, 
Colonels Croghan and Todd and many others and had 
access to the journal of Colonel Wood, the engineer who 
built Fort Meigs and who kept a remarkable diary of an 
important period of these events as they transpired. With 
such an array of material and backed by the ability of the 
author himself to portray events and movements of troops, 
Captain McAfee has undoubtedly given the most valuable, 
authentic and close-up narrative, especially of the western 
operations in this struggle ever written. Franklin would 
have called it the War of Independence, for it is related 
that when he heard some one speak of the "War of Inde 
pendence" (1776) he said, "Sir, you mean the Revolution, 
the War of Independence is yet to come." 

It is with a view of perpetuating this valuable work to 
the people that the publisher is lead to reproduce the 
same complete, and in full with some explanatory field 
notes, as the original copies of the book are fast passing 
out of existence. And while many later historians, per 
haps nearly all, have used the work as a basis for their 
writings, historians and readers, we believe, will welcome 
the complete narrative. In commenting on the same, Dr. 
Kendric Charles Babcock in his bibliography in Albert 
Bushnell Hart s "American Nation" puts McAfees s work 


,**;****: - * *** 

,; <f .; **<;; 4 * a ; 

in a Higti and distinct class and says "the History of The 
Late War In the Western Country is one of the very best 
accounts of the conditions of the army on the frontier and 
of the methods of organization, transportation and hand 
ling of troops during the war." 

Captain McAfee was a Kentuckian. He was born Feb 
ruary 17, 1784, and died March 12, 1849. One writer calls 
him a "soldier, statesman, historian and banker." He 
enlisted in the service of 1812 along with some of the most 
prominent citizens and best blood of Kentucky. He was 
captain of a company in the first battalion of a mounted 
Kentucky regiment organized by Col. II. M. Johnson under 
orders of Governor Shelby. Captain McAfee served 
throughout the campaign with honored distinction and, as 
stated, writes much of his story from personal knowledge. 
He was Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. 1820-1824 and 
was connected with one of the first banks at Harrodsburg, 
Ky., in 1818. 


The author of the following history will not detain the 
reader with many prefatory remarks. It was written 
during those hours of leisure which he was able occa 
sionally to reserve from other necessary occupations; and 
he therefore wishes to be regarded, not as advancing any 
lofty pretensions to literary merit. His object has chiefly 
been, to give a plain and correct statement of the facts, 
and to make only such reflections upon them, as they would 
obviously authorize; and he can conscientiously say, that 
he has in no case intentionally distorted or concealed 

He has no private friendships or enmities to gratify- 
nothing but a rational attachment to his country and hos 
tility to his enemies according to their deserts. Being a 
native of Kentucky and having lost many of his friends 
in the Indian wars, during the first settlement of this 
country, he has necessarily imbibed an abhorrence of those 
principles and practices of the savages, and their British 
allies, by which the western settlements have suffered 
so much in both wars. 

If any of his expressions should be deemed too acri 
monious and intemperate for dignified and impartial his 
tory, the reader will excuse them on this account, together 
with the consideration that the feelings excited by the 
occurrences described are still fresh and vigorous in his 
bosom. He believes, however, that he has said nothing 
which is not strictly true and just, though perhaps not 
entirely agreeable to the taste of every reader. 

In procuring the material for this work, the author is 
greatly indebted to General Harrison and Governor Shelby, 


(Kentucky) for the many valuable documents they fur 
nished, particularly their correspondence with the war de 
partment and with each other. He is also indebted to 
Governor Edwards for his correspondence but it unfor 
tunately arrived too late to be used. 

Colonels Croghan and Todd with many other officers 
of the northwestern army have also laid him under great 
obligations by the cheerfulness with which they furnished 
and assisted him in collecting all the information within 
their power. To the latter he is indebted to the journal 
of Colonel Wood of the engineers, who justly attained a 
lofty character for military genius and service before his 
untimely but glorious fall. 

Most of these papers will remain in the possession of 
Colonel C. S. Todd, subject to be examined by any person 
who may wish to see the authorities on which any state 
ment in this history is founded. 

In preparing this work for the press I have to acknowl 
edge the assistance I received from Dr. Joseph Buchanan, 
who first undertook it s publication. He carefully 
examined and compared all the materials from which it 
has been compiled, and in fact attentively revised it in 
every respect. In some instances he has made alterations, 
on the propriety of which I have differed with him in 
opinion ; however, there is no material fact which I am not 
satisfied is correctly stated; and as for reflections, the 
reader will no doubt judge for himself. 

In describing the operation against the Creek Indians 
I have had to rely chiefly on official reports, which, how 
ever correct, are insufficient for fullness for a complete 

As to the campaign at New Orleans, besides the com 
mon sources of information I have had recourse to Major 
Thomas Curry and I acknowledge with pleasure the assist- 


ance he has given me. He served in the Kentucky militia 
in that campaign and was able as an eye witness to furnish 
important matter. 

In justice to our late enemies as well as to myself, it 
may be proper to add that much information with respect 
to them has unavoidably been very imperfect and hence I 
may have made erroneous statements respecting them in 
many instances. Their own official reports which they 
published are so notoriously false that no reliance can be 
placed in them and the unofficial anonymous reports which 
circulated in our public prints concerning them were not 
much better authority. But with respect to our own opera 
tions I have authentic documents or the evidence of highly 
respectable witnesses to substantiate every statement I 
have made. 







At the close of the American revolution, many persons 
in England entertained an opinion that the American col 
onies were not irretrievably lost to the mother country. 
They hoped that Great Britain would be able, at some favor 
able moment, to regain the sovereignty of these States ; and 
in this hope it is -highly probable the British ministry 

From calculations and sentiments like these, as well 
as from the irritation caused by the failure of their arms, 
may have proceeded their unjustifiable conduct on the in 
terior frontiers of the new States. The military posts of 
Niagara, Detroit, and Mackinaw were detained under 
various pretences, for many years, in violation of the 
treaty of peace. The Indian tribes on our borders were 
at the same time supplied with munitions of w^ar, and 
instigated to commit depredations and hostilities on the 
frontiers of Kentucky, and the settlements northwest of 
the Ohio. This fact is fully established by the letters of 
Colonel M Kee, the British commandant of Fort Miami at 
the foot of the Rapids, written previous to the visit of 
General Wayne to that place in 94, and published during 


the late war in the American journals, the originals having 
then fallen into the hands of our Government. 

This unwarrantable interference with the Indians re 
siding within the limits of the United States was continued 
by the British from the peace of 83, quite down to the com 
mencement of the late war. During a great part of that 
time, they kept the Indians in hostility with our western 
settlements; and when the probability of a new war be 
tween the two countries became very strong, they so ex 
cited the savages, as to make a battle with them the neces 
sary prelude to general hostilities. Although this interfer 
ence with the Indians was not an obvious and ostensible 
cause of the war, yet it may fairly be considered as a very 
efficient cause. Much of that resentment against the Brit 
ish, which prevailed so strongly in the western States, the 
principal advocates for the war, may fairly be attributed 
to this source. 

President Washington was apprised of the intrigues 
of the English agents, and endeavored by negotiation to 
obtain redress; and nothing but the exhausted state of 
the country after the revolutionary war, prevented that 
i^reat man from resorting to arms to punish British per 
fidy. His policy however was wise; it was consistent with 
the genius of our government, and the condition of our 
country. It would certainly have been hazardous, to ven 
ture on a new war, so soon after we had established our 
independence, and instituted an untried form of govern 

Several campaigns, however, were conducted against 
the Indians northwest of the Ohio. General Harmer 
commanded one, in the year 1790, against the Miami vil 
lage, at the junction of the rivers St. Marys and St. Jos 
ephs, where Fort Wayne was subsequently built. It 
eventuated in burning the town; and afterwards in the 


defeat of several detachments of Iris army, with the loss of 
many of his men. 

In the following year another army was conducted in 
the same direction, from Kentucky and the back parts of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, by General Arthur St. Clair. 
The object of this expedition, was to destroy the Miami 
and ShaAvanoe settlements, on the Auglaize and Miami 
rivers; but it was late in the season before the necessary 
arrangements were made, and the Indians having received 
intelligence of his march, and anticipating his views, 
advanced and met him near the place where Fort Recovery 
now stands. On the 7th of November, they attacked his 
army in its encampment, when a total rout ensued, and 
the greater part of the army was destroyed. The Indian 
mode of warfare was not well understood by this general, 
and the panic produced by the savage yells in the time of 
action, threw the whole into confusion. 

F or several years previous to this disastrous campaign, 
the people of Kentucky had remonstrated against the 
manner in which the general government was conducting 
the war against the Indians; and President Washington 
had so far regarded their representations, as to authorize 
certain eminent citizens, Messrs. Scott, Innes, Brown, 
Logan, and Shelby to send expeditions against the Indians 
in their own way. Accordingly in the spring and summer 
preceding the defeat of General St. Clair, two expeditions 
of volunteer militia from the district of Kentucky, were 
sent by those gentlemen against the Indians on the Wabash 
the first under the command of general Charles Scott, 
and the other under general James Wilkinson. They were 
both completely successful. The Indian country was laid 
waste, many lives were destroyed, and many prisoners 
were taken, without much loss on the part of the Ken- 
tuckians. Yet in the autumn of the same year, the old 


method of sending regulars, under a general unskilled 
in savage warfare, was again employed in the case of St. 
Clair s campaign, with the disastrous consequence of a 
total defeat. 

After this disaster, affairs with the Indians wore a 
gloomy aspect. It was extremely difficult to procure 
supplies from the scattered settlements of the frontiers, 
to subsist a regular army sufficient to humble the savages. 
General Washington hence determined to attempt a 
negotiation with them; and Colonel Hardin was accord 
ingly sent to them with a flag. All that is known about 
him after his departure, is that he was met and massacred 
by the Indians. A predatory, skirmishing warfare was 
then continued for several years, without any important 
and decisive action being fought, until in the year 94 a 
formidable and successful expedition was conducted 
against the savages by General Anthony Wayne, a distin 
guished revolutionary officer from Pennsylvania, who was 
then commander-in-chief of the American army. He was 
accompanied by Generals Wilkinson and Scott of the same 
character from Kentucky. The principal part of the troops 
were assembled at Cincinnati in the month of June, and 
thence marched by the way of Forts Hamilton, Greenville, 
Recovery, Adams, and Defiance, which had been built by 
the regulars under W ayne, during several preceding years 
of preparation for this decisive campaign. 

In the meantime, the British commandant at Detroit 
had seized a commanding spot in the American territory 
on the north side of the Miami of the lakes, below the 
Rapids, where he had erected a strong fort, from which 
the Indians were notoriously fed and supplied with ammu 
nition, under the pretense of paying them annuities. They 
also were secretly counselled in relation to their manage 
ment of the war. The following extracts from the letters 


of Colonel M Kee, the superintendent of Indian affairs for 
the districts of Detroit and Mackinaw, which were ad 
dressed from this fort to Colonel England, the military 
commandant at Detroit, are worthy to be preserved as 
evidence of the conduct of the British government in this 
case. The letters were written from one British officer to 
another, and were endorsed "on his Majesty s service." 

"Rapids, July 2d, 94 
"By the same channel I learn that a large body of 

troops, supposed to be 3000, with wagons, etc., crossed the 

Ohio some days ago and marched towards the forts in the 

Indian country. 

"I am much pressed for tobacco and ammunition (for 

the Indians) which I hope I may receive by the return 

of the boat." 

"Rapids, July 5th, 94. 

"Sir I send this by a party of Saganas, who returned 
yesterday from Fort Recovery, where the whole body of 
Indians, except the Delawares, who had gone another 
route, imprudently attacked the fort on Monday, the 30th 
of last month, and lost 16 or 17 men, besides a good many 

"Everything had been settled, prior to their leaving the 
Fallen Timber, and it had been agreed upon to confine 
themselves to taking convoys, and attacking at a distance 
from the forts, if they should have the address to entice 
the enemy out; but the impetuosity of the Mackinaw In 
dians, and their eagerness to begin with the nearest, pre 
vailed with the others to alter their system, the conse 
quences of which, from the present appearance of things, 
may most materially injure the interest of these people; 
both the Mackinaw and Lake Indians seeming resolved on 
going home again, having completed the belts they carried 
with scalps and prisoners, and having no provision there, 
or at the Glaze to subsist upon; so that his Majesty s post 
will derive no security from the late great influx of In 
dians into this part of the country, should they persist in 
their resolution of returning so soon. 


"Capt. Elliott writes that they are immediately to hold 
a council at the Glaze, in order to try if they can prevail 
on the Lake Indians to remain; but without provisions, 
ammunition, etc., being sent to that place, I conceive it 
will be extremely difficult to keep them together." 

"Rapids, August 13th, 94. 

"Sir I was honored last night with your letter of the 
llth, and am extremely glad to find you are making such 
exertions to supply the Indians with provisions. 

"Captain Elliott arrived yesterday; what he has 
brought will greatly relieve us, having been obliged all day 
y esterday to take the corn and flour which the traders had 

"Scouts are sent up to view the situation of the army, 
and we now muster 1,000 Indians. All the Lake Indians 
from Sagana downward, should not lose one moment in 
joining their brethren, as every accession of strength is 
an addition to their spirits. 

"Camp near Fort Miami, August 30, 94. 
"Sir I have been employed several days in endeavoring 
to fix the Indians, (who have been driven from their vil 
lages and corn fields ) between the fort and the bay. Swan 
Creek is generally agreed upon, and will be a very con 
venient place for the delivery of provisions, etc." 

As General Wayne advanced, the Indians retired, leav 
ing their villages and corn, on the Miami and Auglaize 
rivers, to be burned and destroyed. Through the medium of 
his spies, the general often tendered them terms of peace, 
which they as often rejected. They at length determined 
on making a stand about two miles above the British gar 
rison to give Wayne battle. An engagement accordingly 
took place on the 20th of August, 94 the result was a 
complete discomforture of the Indians. A number of 
British Canadians fought with the Indians in this battle. 
On the next day, the general reconnoitred the British fort, 
and demanded in peremptory terms the reasons for their 
intrusion. The British officer commanding, replied that 


he was there by the orders of his government, and would 
abandon the place as soon as he was ordered to do so by 
his superiors; and that he hoped the general would not 
proceed to extremities till their respective governments 
were consulted. General Wayne then retired up the 
Miami and erected Fort Wayne. 

This victory over the Indians laid the foundation of 
a general peace with them. They had believed, that the 
British would protect them, but they found themselves 
deceived, for the gates of the British fort were shut against 
them as they retreated after the battle. In the following 
year, 95, General Wayne held a general council, with all 
the Indians northwest of the Ohio, at Greenville, which 
eventuated in a treaty, by which they ceded us an extensive 
tract of country, as an indemnity for past injuries, and in 
consideration of annuities to be paid to them by the United 

In the year 94, a treaty was also negotiated by Mr. Jay 
with the British government. It was signed on the 19th 
of November, a few months after Wayne s battle with the 
Indians. In pursuance of this treaty, in the year 96, all 
the military posts, held by the British, on the American 
side of the lakes, were given up to the American authorities. 

These treaties and events secured our interior frontiers 
from the active hostility of the Indians, and promoted the 
commercial enterprise of our citizens on the ocean. Our 
western settlements in consequence, rapidly advanced in 
population and the improvement of their country, while 
our Atlantic citizens were fast accumulating wealth by 
their trade with foreign nations. This prosperity, how 
ever, was not permitted to advance uninterrupted by Brit 
ish aggressions. The British continued their intercourse 
with the Indians within our limits, so as to keep them 
attached to British interests, and hostile in their feelings 


towards the United States. But the evils we experienced 
on the ocean, were now infinitely more intolerable than 
those of the interior. 

The war in Europe, which had originally been insti 
gated by the British against the revolution in France, 
continued to rage with unabated violence. England and 
France, the leading parties in the war, used every species 
of artifice and violence, to involve all other nations in the 
contest. Orders and decrees were published, by which the 
maritime rights of neutral nations were infringed, and 
extensive coasts declared in a state of blockade, without 
any adequate means of enforcement. By the British 
orders in council, our vessels were required, under the 
penalty of being liable to capture, to call at a British port, 
on their way to any place belonging to France and her 
allies. By way of retaliation, Bonaparte decreed, that all 
vessels which had submitted to this British regulation, 
should be subject to capture by his cruisers. And thus no 
vessel of the United States could sail, either to Britain 
or France, or to any of their allies including all Europe, 
without being subject to capture by one or the other of the 
belligerents. At the same time the British naval officers 
carried on the practice of impressing American seamen, 
in a manner so extensive and vexatious, as to cause much 
distress among our seafaring people, and much incon 
venience and risk to our merchants. 

An endless course of negotiation was pursued, on these 
different subjects of complaint, without the prospect of 
success becoming any brighter. The American govern 
ment could obtain in this way neither indemnity for the 
past nor security for the future. No alternative was left, 
but a resort to arms, to vindicate our honor and our rights, 
and to protect our interests on the ocean. Our losses by 
captures and impressments nearly equalled the expenses 


of a war in men and money. A formal declaration of war 
was accordingly made on the 18th of June, 1812. But 
previous to this declaration, hostilities had commenced 
with the Indians, and the battle of Tippecanoe had been 

A preliminary view of Indian affairs will enable us to 
understand this commencement of the war. By the com 
bined counsels and schemes of the British agents, and some 
of the principal chiefs among the Indians, the seeds of 
hostility were sown among them soon after the peace of 
Greenville, and were gradually nurtured into war. At 
ihat time, Little Turtle and Blue Jacket were the leading 
chiefs among the northwestern tribes. They had disagreed 
about the manner of opposing Wayne s army. The plan 
of Blue Jacket was adopted, and eventuated in the total 
defeat of the Indians, as predicted by the other. After 
this event, Little Turtle continued friendly to the United 
States. He was of opinion, that the Indian tribes were 
unable to contend against the Americans ; that no material 
aid would be furnished them by the British; and that 
would only be the means of their losing more of their lands. 
Blue Jacket had more confidence in the British ; he thirsted 
for revenge against the Americans ; and he wished to regain 
the lands which had been ceded by the treaty of Green 
ville. His influence increased, whilst the Little Turtle 
became unpopular. He found in Tecumseh, a Shawanoese 
Indian, whom he associated with him in his views and 
projects, an able and persevering coadjutor. The leading 
principles in their policy were, to combine all the tribes 
together in one confederacy; to prevent the sale of their 
lands by any single tribe; and to join the British in the 
event of war, with a view to revenge and the recovery of 
their lands. They contended, that by the treaty of Green 
ville, the United States had acknowledged the right to 


their lands to reside jointly in all tribes; and that of 
course the United States had no right to purchase lands 
from any single tribe, without the consent of the others. 
Blue Jacket did not live to execute his schemes; but they 
were diligently pursued by Tecumseh, in which he was 
encouraged and supported by the British agents. 

The various tribes, who were in the habit of visiting 
Detroit and Sandwich, were annually subsidized by the 
British. When the American agent at Detroit gave one 
dollar by way of annuity, the British agent on the other 
side of the river, Detroit, would give them ten. This course 
of iniquity had the intended effect; the Indians were im 
pressed with a great aversion for the Americans; and 
disregarding the treaty of Greenville, they desired to 
recover the lands which they had ceded, and for which 
they had annually received the stipulated annuity. They 
wished also to try their strength again with the "Big 
Knife," as they called the Kentuckians, in order to wipe 
away the disgrace of their defeat by General Wayne. And 
they were still promised the aid of the British, in the event 
of a war between the British and Americans. Their 
natural temper for war was thus inflamed, and they were 
held in readiness at any moment to commence the contest. 

About the year 1804, a Shawanoese Indian, the brother 
of Tecumseh, proclaimed himself a Prophet, alleging that 
he had been commanded by the Great Spirit, who made 
the red people, and who was not the same that made the 
white people, and whom the latter worshiped, to inform 
his red children, that the misfortunes which had fallen 
upon them, proceeded from their having abandoned the 
mode of life which he had prescribed for them, and adopted 
the manners and dress of the white people; and that he 
was commanded to tell them, that they must return to 
their former habits, leave off the use of whiskey, and as 


soon as possible clothe themselves in skins instead of 

The Prophet fixed himself at Greenville, the spot which 
had been so noted from the cantonment of General Wayne s 
army, and from the treaty made by him with the Indian 
tribes at that place in the year 1795. The fame of the 
Prophet spread through the surrounding Indian tribes, 
and he soon found himself at the head of a considerable 
number of followers, composed principally, however, of the 
most abandoned of the young men of the Shawanoese, 
Delawares, Wyandots, Potawatamies, Qttowas, Chippewas, 
and Kickapoos. Beside these he was visited by an immense 
concourse of men, women and children from the tribes of 
the Mississippi and Lake Superior. The most absurd 
stories were told, and believed by the Indians, of his power 
to perform miracles, and no fatigue and suffering was 
thought too great to be endured to get a sight of him. The 
people of Ohio became much alarmed at the great assem 
blage of the Indians upon their frontier, and a mission 
was sent by the governor to insist upon their removal. The 
United States agent at Fort W 7 ayne also joined in the 
remonstrance, against his forming a permanent settle 
ment at Greenville, which was within the boundary of the 
United States. Accordingly, in 1808, he removed to the 
Wabash, and fixed his residence on the north bank of that 
river, near the mouth of the Tippecanoe. This land was 
the property of the Miami tribe, who made strong remon 
strances against it, but were not strong enough to effect 
his removal by force, as he had collected around him a 
considerable body of the most daring and unprincipled 
young men, of all the neighboring tribes. The chiefs of 
the latter were almost unanimously opposed to him, as 
they discovered that he was constantly endeavoring to 
destroy their influence, or to prevail on the warriors to 


take the authority into their own hands. Several of the 
most influential chiefs were put to death by the young men, 
under the pretence of their practicing magic. Teteboxke, 
the venerable chief of the Delawares, with several of his 
friends, were condemned to the flames. The loss of their 
chiefs began, however, to be regretted, and those that sur 
vived made a common cause, in opposing the extension 
of the Prophet s influence. He was~ only able to retain 
about 40 warriors of his own tribe, the chiefs of which 
hated him most cordially. In the year 1809, he had not 
more than 250 or 300 warriors with him. They had suf 
fered much for provisions, and the greater part of them, 
perhaps, would have perished, if they had not been sup 
plied with corn by Governor Harrison, of Vincennes. In 
September, 1809, a treaty was made at Port Wayne, by 
the governor, as commissioner upon the part of the United 
States, for the extinguishment of the title to a considerable 
tract of land, extending about 60 miles up the Wabash 
above Vincennes. The Delawares, Miamis and Pota- 
watamies were parties to this treaty ; but the Prophet and 
his followers were not invited; because, as the governor 
says in his address to the legislature of Indiana, "it never 
had been suggested, that they could plead even the title 
of occupancy to the lands which were then conveyed to the 
United States/ and it was well known they were the right 
ful property by the Miamis, who had possessed them from 
the time of the first arrival of the white people among 
them. The Shawanoese tribe made no pretensions to those 
lands. Their principal chief attended the treaty, and 
recommended to the Miami chiefs to make the cession. 
About the time that the treaty was made, the affairs of the 
Prophet were at a low ebb. In the course of the succeed 
ing winter, however, the intrigues and negotiations of his 
brother Tecumseh, procured a large accession of strength. 


They were joined by a considerable number of Winne- 
bagoes or Puants, the greater part of the Kickapoo tribe, 
and some of the Wyandots. Although the affairs were 
managed in the name of the Prophet, Tecumseh was in 
fact the director of everything. This extraordinary man 
had risen into consequence, subsequently to the treaty of 
Greenville in the year 1795. He had been considered an 
active warrior in the war which was terminated by that 
treaty, but possessed no considerable influence. The 
principal object in his labors, by which he obtained dis 
tinction, was to unite all the tribes upon the continent in 
one grand confederacy for the purpose of opposing the 
encroachments of the whites. Tecumseh was on a mission 
for this purpose, when the treaty was concluded in 1809. 
Upon his return, he threatened to kill the chiefs who had 
signed it, and declared his determination to prevent the 
lands from being surveyed and settled. 

Governor Harrison, upon being informed of his pro 
ceedings, sent him a message, informing him "that any 
claims he might have to the lands which had been ceded, 
were not affected by the treaty; that he might come to 
Vincennes and exhibit his pretensions, and if they were 
found to be solid, that the land would either be given up, 
or an ample compensation made for it." Accordingly in 
the month of August, 1810, he came down to Vincennes, 
attended by several hundred warriors. A day was ap 
pointed to hear his statement, which it took him many 
hours to make. He asserted, that the Great Spirit had 
made the continent for the use of the Indians exclusively 
that the white people had no right to come here, and take 
it from them that no particular part of it was given to 
any tribe, but that the whole was the common property 
of all ; and that any sale of lands, made without the con 
sent of all, was not valid. In his answer, the governor 


observed, that the Indians, like the white people, were 
divided into different tribes or nations and that the Great 
Spirit never intended that they should form but one nation, 
or he would not have taught them to speak different lan 
guages, which put it out of their power to understand each 
other and that the Shawanoese, who emigrated from 
Georgia, could have no claim to the lands on the W abash, 
which had been occupied far beyond the memory of man 
by the Miamis. The governor having proceeded thus far, 
sat down for the purpose of giving the interpreters time 
to explain what he had said, to the different tribes that 
were present. As soon as it was interpreted in Shawa 
noese, Tecumseh interrupted the interpreter, and said that 
it was all false, and giving a signal to his warriors, they 
seized their tomahawks and war clubs and sprang upon 
their feet. 

For some minutes the governor was in the most immi 
nent danger. He preserved his presence of mind, however, 
and, disengaging himself from an arm-chair in which he 
was sitting, seized his sword to defend himself. A con 
siderable number of citizens of Viucennes were present, 
all unarmed. At a little distance, however, there was a 
guard of a sergeant and 12 men, who were immediately 
brought up by an officer. The governor then told Tecum 
seh, that he was a bad man, and he would have no further 
intercourse with him ; and directed him to retire to his 
camp and set out immediately on his return home. As the 
Indians with Tecumseh greatly outnumbered the citizens 
of the town, and the regular troops there, two companies 
of militia were brought in during the night, and a large 
number the next day. Early, however, on the following 
morning, Tecumseh sent for the interpreter, made an 
apology for his conduct, and earnestly requested that he 
might have another conference with the governor. His 


request was at length granted ; but the governor took care 
to be attended by a number of his friends, well armed, and 
to have the troops in the town ready for action. In his 
speech Tecumseh said, that he had been advised by some 
white persons, to act as he had done ; but that it was not 
his intention to offer any violence to the governor. The 
latter then inquired, whether he had any other grounds 
for claiming the lands, that had been ceded to the United 
States, but those which he had stated; and he answered 
in the negative. The governor then observed to him, that 
so great a warrior should disdain to conceal his intentions, 
and desired to know whether he really intended to make 
war upon the United States, if the lately purchased lands 
were not relinquished by them. He answered that it was 
decidedly his determination, and that he would never rest, 
until he brought all the tribes upon the continent, to unite 
in one confederacy. The activity and perseverance, which 
he manifested in the prosecution of this scheme, are most 
wonderful. He visited all the tribes west of the Missis 
sippi, and on Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie repeatedly, 
before the year 1811. So sanguine were his followers 
about this time, and so much were they encouraged by the 
British agents, that in the event of a war between England 
and America, they believed the confederated tribes with 
the aid of the British, would be able to drive the Americans 
over the Ohio river to the south side, and thus regain all 
the country on the northwest of that river. And from the 
sine qua non, advanced by the British commissioners in 
the negotiation at Ghent, it would appear, that the British 
ministry had indulged a delusion no much less extravagant. 
It was the intention of Tecumseh, to avoid hostilities 
with the whites, until he should effect a combination 
strong enough to resist them, or until the expected war 
with Great Britain should commence. Whether the 


British were really the authors of this plan, for forming a 
general confederacy amongst the tribes, or whether the 
scheme originated with Blue Jacket and Tecumseh them 
selves, is not certain; but from the papers found in the 
baggage of the British army taken on the Thames, it 
appears more than probable, that the former was the 
case at least it is certain, that an intimate communica 
tion was kept up, between the Prophet and Tecumseh, and 
the British Indian department, from their first establish 
ment at Greenville ; and that they were constantly supplied 
with arms, ammunition and clothing, from the King s 
stores at Maiden. In the winter and spring of the year 
1811, many depredations and several murders were com 
mitted upon the inhabitants of the frontiers of the Indiana, 
Illinois, and Missouri territories. The perpetrators were 
demanded of the respective chiefs, but no satisfaction could 
be obtained. A militia officer was sent by Governor Har 
rison to demand the delivery of some horses, that had been 
stolen from the settlements, and which were discovered 
with the Indians; no satisfaction was however obtained; 
and Tecumseh and his brother informed the officer, that 
they would pay a visit in person to the governor. They 
were told that they would be well received, provided they 
came with not more than 30 followers. This was acceded 
to. The governor, however, caused their motions to be 
watched, and was soon informed, that they were descend 
ing the river with several hundred warriors. The same 
officer was dispatched to meet them, and to forbid their 
approach to Vincennes with that body. Compliance was 
again promised, and Tecumseh came on with a few canoes 
only, but was soon followed by all the rest, who joined 
and encamped with him a mile from the town of Vincennes. 
The inhabitants were much alarmed, and there is little 
doubt, but that it was the intention of the Indians, to sur- 


prise and plunder the town. The governor was, however, 
on his guard. The militia of the town was kept under 
arms, and some companies were brought in from the 
country. Tecumseh demanded an interview. The gover 
nor agreed to it, and asked whether it was the intention of 
the Indians to come armed to the council. Tecumseh re 
plied that he would be governed by the conduct of the 
white people ; if they attended the council armed, his war 
riors would be armed also, but if the white people would 
come unarmed, he would come in the same way. The 
governor informed him, that he would be attended by a 
troop of dragoons, dismounted, who would have only side 
arms, and that the Indians might bring their war clubs, 
tomahawks and knives. The meeting took place in a large 
arbour, on one side of which were placed the dragoons, 80 
in number, seated in rows ; on the other side, the Indians. 
Besides their swords, the dragoons had their pistols stuck 
in their belts. The Indians were evidently alarmed, and 
when the governor, who was seated in front of the front 
row of dragoons, began to address them, Tecumseh com 
plained that he could not hear him, and desired him to 
remove his seat to an open space near himself. The gover 
nor complied. In his speech he complained of the constant 
depredations, which were committed by the Indians of 
Tippecanoe. The refusal on their part to give satisfaction 
and the constant accumulation of force at that place, 
for the avowed purpose of obliging the United States to 
give up lands, which they had fairly purchased, of the 
rightful owners. In his answer Tecumseh denied that he 
had taken the murderers under his protection; but ad 
mitted his design of forming a grand confederacy of all 
the nations and tribes of Indians upon the continent, for 
the purpose of putting a stop to the encroachments of the 
white people. He said, that "the policy which the United 


States pursued, of purchasing lands from the Indians, he 
viewed as a mighty water, ready to overflow his people, 
and that the confederacy which he was forming among 
the tribes, to prevent any individual tribe from selling 
without the consent of the others, was the dam he was 
erecting to resist this mighty water." And he added, 
"your great father may sit over the mountains and drink 
his wine, but if he continues this policy, you and I will 
have to fight it out." He admitted, that he was then on 
his way to the Creek nation for the purpose of bringing 
them over to his measures; and he actually did, two days 
afterwards, set out on this journey with 12 or 15 of his 
warriors. Having visited the Creeks, Choctaws, and 
Chickasaws, he crossed the Mississippi and continued his 
course northwardly, as far as the river Des Monies. Having 
obtained, it is believed, the promise of assistance from all 
the tribes in that direction, he returned to the Wabash 
by land, across the heads of the Illinois river. In his 
absence his affairs had sustained a sad reverse. His town 
was consumed, his large deposit of provisions destroyed, 
his bravest followers killed, and the rest dispersed. Upon 
his departure to visit the southern Indians, the Prophet, 
his brother, was left in charge of the temporal as well as 
spiritual concerns of the establishment. It is believed 
that he received from Tecumseh, positive instructions to 
avoid coming to extremities with the white people, and to 
restrain his followers from committing depredations, 
which might lead to the commencement of hostilities before 
his plans were ripe. The Prophet, however, wanted the 
inclination as well as the authority necessary to follow the 
direction. Murders and other depredations followed in 
quick succession ; no redress could be obtained ; the people 
upon the frontiers became exceedingly alarmed, as well as 
the citizens of Vincennes, at which place a large meeting 


was held, which passed a number of resolutions indicating 
their sense of the danger they were in, and warmly appro 
bating the measures, which had been taken by the governor 
for their defense. These resolutions, with a strong re 
monstrance against the propriety of suffering this banditti 
to continue their depredations, were forwarded to the 
President of the United States. They produced the de 
sired effect, and the 4th regiment commanded by Colonel 
Boyd, which was at that time at Pittsburgh, was ordered 
to repair immediately to Vincennes, and was placed under 
the command of Governor Harrison. The governor was 
also directed to add to them a body of militia, to take 
measures for the defence of the citizens, and as a last resort 
to remove the Prophet and his followers by force. 

As soon as it was known in Kentucky, that Harrison 
was authorized to march with an army against the Indians, 
a number of volunteers went over to join his standard. 
Many of them were men of high standing at home, as mili 
tary, civil, and literary characters. Of this number were 
Samuel Wells, a major-general of the militia, who had 
been an active soldier in former wars with the Indians 
Joseph H. Daveiss, Esq., a very eminent attorney, who had 
great military ambition Col. Abraham Owen, a veteran 
in Indian warfare and Col. Keiger, who raised a small 
company of young men near Louisville, including among 
them, Messrs. Croghan, O Fallon, Shipp, Chum and Ed 
wards, who afterwards distinguished themselves as officers 
in the army of the United States. 

In the latter part of September, the governor com 
menced his march up the W abash, with a force of about 
nine hundred effective men, composed of the 4th regiment, 
a body of militia, and about 130 volunteer dragoons. The 
fourth regiment had been raised for some time, and was 
trained and well officered. The militia, too, who were all 


volunteers, had been trained with great assiduity by the 
governor, in those particular evolutions which had been 
practised by General Wayne s army, and which had been 
found useful in a covered country, and operating against 
Indians. Conformably to his orders from the President, 
the governor halted within the boundary of the United 
States, and endeavored by the intervention of the Delaware 
and Miami tribes, to induce the Prophet to deliver up the 
murderers and the stolen horses. These messengers of 
peace were received and treated with great insolence, and 
the demands made by them rejected with disdain by the 
Prophet and his council. To put an end to all hopes of 
accommodation, a small war party was detached for the 
purpose of commencing hostilities. Finding no stragglers 
about the camp, they fired upon one of the sentinels, and 
wounded him severely; the Delaware chiefs informed the 
governor of the object of the party, and that it was in vain 
to expect, that anything but force could obtain either satis 
faction for the injuries done, or security for the future. 
He learned also from the same source, that the strength 
of the Prophet was daily increasing by the ardent and 
giddy young men from every tribe, and particularly from 
the tribes on and beyond the Illinois river. The governor 
was at this time busily engaged, in erecting a fort on the 
southeast side of the Wabash, some miles within the bound 
ary of the United States, and in preparing ammunition, and 
disciplining his men for the expected conflict, which from 
the character of the enemy, he knew would be a desperate 
one. His little army had been much weakened by sick 
ness, the effect of fresh food without vegetables and a 
sufficient quantity of bread. The governor finding his 
flour growing short, had early in October put the troops 
upon half allowance of that article this regulation ex 
tended to the officers of every rank, and was rigidly con- 


formed to in the family of the general. The sick having 
been deposited in the fort, which the officers, in compliment 
to their commander, had requested might be called Fort 
Harrison, and the weak and convalescent being drawn 
out to form the garrison, the troops on the 29th of October 
took up the line of march ; the infantry in two columns in 
single file on each side of the trace, and capable by a single 
conversion, of being formed into two lines, to receive the 
enemy on any point he might attack, or of being reduced 
into a hollow square. 

The country through which the army passed was 
occasionally open, beautiful prairie, intersected by thick 
woods, deep creeks, and ravines. The cavalry and 
mounted riflemen, of the latter of which there were two 
companies, covered the advance, the flanks and the rear, 
and were made to exchange positions with each other, as 
the ground varied so as to keep them upon that which 
best suited the mode of fighting which they respectively 
practised. The Indians being perfectly master of the art 
of ambuscading, every precaution was used to guard 
against surprise, and prevent the army from being attacked 
in a disadvantageous position. At some distance above 
Fort Harrison, two routes for approaching the Prophet s 
town presented themselves to the choice of the governor. 
The one passing up the south side of the Wabash, was much 
shorter than the other, but it led through an uneven woody 
country. To the north of the river, the prairies are very 
extensive, affording few situations for the kind of war 
fare peculiar to the savages. To deceive the enemy, the 
governor caused the route to be reconnoitered on the south 
side and a wagon road laid out, and having advanced upon 
it a short distance, he suddenly changed his direction, 
and gained the right bank of the Wabash, by crossing it 
above the mouth of Racoon creek. Here the army was 


joined by some of the volunteers from Kentucky, amongst 
whom were Major-General Wells, and Colonels Owen and 
Keiger. To General Wells the command of the mounted 
riflemen was assigned with the rank of major. Colonel 
Owen was appointed aid-de-camp to the governor; and the 
rest of the volunteers with a detachment of the Indiana 
militia under Major Beck were formed into a company, 
and placed under the command of Colonel Keiger as cap 
tain. To Colonel Daveiss the command of the dragoons 
had been given with the rank of major. In passing the 
large prairies, the army was frequently halted, and made 
collectively to perform the evolutions, which they had been 
taught in smaller bodies, during their stay at Fort Har 
rison, at which place, the governor had manoeuvered the 
relieving guards every day in person, and had required the 
attendance of the field officer on those occasions. 

The Indians not expecting the army on the north side 
of the river, no signs of them were seen, until it approached 
Pine creek, a very dangerous pass, where a few men might 
successfully oppose a whole army. The appearance of this 
creek forms a singular exception to the other water courses 
of this country. It runs for the distance of 15 or 20 miles 
above its mouth, between immense cliffs of rock, upon 
whose summits are found considerable quantities of pine 
and red cedar, the former of which is rare, and the latter 
no where else to be found near the W abash. The ordinary 
crossing place, to which the trace led that the army was 
pursuing was represented by the traders, who served as 
guides, to be extremely difficult, if not impassable for 
wagons, and that it was no doubt the spot where the In 
dians would make their attack, if they had determined to 
meet the army in the field. It had been twice selected by 
them for that purpose once in the year 1780, when Gen 
eral Clark undertook a campaign against the Indians, of 


the Wabash; but their design was then frustrated by a 
mutiny of a part of his troops TO or 80 miles above Vin- 
cennes and a second time in the year 1790, when Colonel 
Hamtraniack penetrated with a small force as high as 
the Vermillion, to make a diversion in favor of General 
Manner s expedition to the Miami of the Lake. The gov 
ernor had no intention of encountering the enemy in a 
place like this. He accordingly, in the course of the night 
preceding his approach to the creek, dispatched Captain 
Prince, of the Indiana militia, with an escort of forty men, 
to reconnoitre the creek some miles above, and endeavor 
to find a better fording. About 10 :00 o clock next day, 
this excellent officer met the army in its advance, and in 
formed the general, that at the distance of six or eight 
miles, he had found a trace, used by the Illinois Indians in 
traveling to Tippecanoe, which presented an excellent 
ford, at a place where the prairie skirted the creek. This 
prairie which they were now crossing, excited the admira 
tion and astonishment of the officers and soldiers, who had 
never been on the northwest side of the Wabash. To the 
north and west the prospect was unbounded from the 
highest eminence no limit was to be seen, and the guides 
asserted, that the prairie extended to the Illinois river. 
On the evening of the 5th of November, the army en 
camped at the distance of nine or ten miles from the 
Prophet s town. It was ascertained that the approach 
of the army had been discovered before it crossed Pine 
creek. The traces of reconnoitering parties were very 
often seen, but no Indians were discovered until the troops 
arrived within 5 or 6 miles of the town on the 6th of 
November. The interpreters were then placed with the 
advanced guard, to endeavor to open a communication 
with them. The Indians would, however, return no 
answer to the invitations that were made to them for that 


purpose, but continued to insult our people by their ges 
tures. Within about three miles of the town, the ground 
became broken by ravines and covered with timber. The 
utmost precaution became necessary, and every difficult 
pass was examined by the mounted riflemen before the 
army was permitted to enter it. The ground being unfit 
for the operation of the squadron of dragoons, they were 
thrown in the rear. Through the whole march, the pre 
caution had been used of changing the disposition of the 
different corps, that each might have the ground best 
suited to its operations. Within about two miles of the 
town, the path descended a steep hill, at the bottom of 
which was a small creek running through a narrow wet 
prairie, and beyond this a level plain partially covered with 
oak timber, and without underbrush. Before the crossing 
of the creek, the woods were very thick and intersected 
by deep ravines. No place could be better calculated for 
the savages to attack with a prospect of success, and the 
governor apprehended that the moment the troops de 
scended into the hollow, they would be attacked. A dis 
position was, therefore, made of the infantry, to receive the 
enemy on the left and rear. A company of mounted 
riflemen was advanced a considerable distance from the 
left flank to check the approach of the enemy; and the 
other two companies were directed to turn the enemy s 
flanks, should he attack from that direction. The dragoons 
were ordered to move rapidly from the rear and occupy 
the plain in advance of the creek, to cover the crossing 
of the army from an attack in front. In this order the 
troops were passed over; the dragoons were made to ad 
vance to give room to the infantry, and the latter having 
crossed the creek, were formed to receive the enemy in 
front in one line, with a reserve of three companies the 
dragoons flanked by mounted riflemen forming the first 


line. During all this time, Indians were frequently seen 
in front and on the flanks. The interpreters endeavored 
in vain to bring them to a parley. Though sufficiently 
near to hear what was said to them, they would return no 
answer, but continued by gestures to menace and insult 
those who addressed them. Being now arrived within a 
mile and a half of the town, and the situation being favor 
able for an encampment, the governor determined to re 
main there and fortify his camp, until he could hear from 
the friendly chiefs, whom he had dispatched from Fort 
Harrison, on the day he had left it, for the purpose of 
making another attempt to prevent the recurrence to hos 
tilities. Those chiefs were to have met him on the way, 
but no intelligence was yet received from them. Whilst 
he was engaged in tracing out the lines of the encampment, 
Major Daveiss and several other field officers approached 
him, and urged the propriety of immediately marching 
upon the town. The governor answered that his instruc 
tions would not justify his attacking the Indians, as long 
as there was a probability of their complying with the 
demands of the government, and that he still hoped to hear 
some thing in the course of the evening from the friendly 
Indians, whom he had dispatched from Fort Harrison. 

To this it was observed, that as the Indians seen hover 
ing about the army, had been frequently invited to a parley 
by the interpreters, who had proceeded some distance from 
the lines for the purpose; and as these overtures had uni 
versally been answered by menace and insult, it was very 
evident that it was their intention to tight ; that the troops 
were in high spirits and full of confidence ; and that advan 
tage ought to be taken of their ardour to lead them immed 
iately to the enemy. To this the governor answered, that 
he was fully sensible of the eagerness of the troops, and 
admitting the determined hostility of the Indians, and 


:- :f 

that their insolence was full evidence of their intention 
to fight, yet he knew them too well to believe, that they 
would ever do this, but by surprise, or on ground which was 
entirely favorable to their mode of fighting. He was, 
therefore, determined not to advance with the troops, until 
he knew precisely the situation of the town, and the ground 
adjacent to it, particularly that which intervened between 
it and the place where the army then was that it was their 
duty to fight when they came in contact with the enemy it 
was his, to take care that they should not engage in a situ 
ation where their valor would be useless, and where a corps 
upon which he placed great reliance would be unable to 
act that the experience of the last two hours ought to 
convince every officer, that no reliance ought to be placed 
upon the guides, as to the topography of the country 
that relying on their information, the troops had been led 
into a situation so unfavorable, that but for the celerity 
with which they changed their position, a few Indians 
might have destroyed them ; he was, therefore, determined 
not to advance to the town, until he had previously recon- 
noitered, either in person, or by some one, on whose judg 
ment he could rely. Major Daveiss immediately replied, 
that from the right of the position of the dragoons, which 
was still in front, the opening made by the low grounds of 
the Wabash could be seen; that with his adjutant, D. 
Floyd, he had advanced to the bank, which descends to the 
low grounds, and had a fair view of the cultivated fields 
and the houses of the town; and that the open woods, 
in which the troops then were, continued without interrup 
tion to the town. Upon this information, the governor 
said he would advance, provided he could get any proper 
person to go to the town with a flag. Captain T. Dubois, 
of Vincennes having offered his services, he was dispatched 
with an interpreter to the Prophet, desiring to know 


whether he would now comply with the terms, that had 
been so often proposed to him. The army was moved 
slowly after in order of battle. In a few moments a mes 
senger came from Captain Dubois, informing the governor 
111 at the Indians were near him in considerable numbers, 
but that they would return no answer to the interpreter, 
although they were sufficiently near to hear what was said 
to them, and that upon his advancing, they constantly 
endeavored to cut him off from the army. Governor Har 
rison during this last effort to open a negotiation, which 
was sufficient to show his wish for an accommodation, 
resolved no longer to hesitate in treating the Indians as 
enemies. He, therefore, recalled Captain Dubois, and 
moved on with a determination to attack them. He had 
not proceeded far, however, before he was met by three 
Indians, one of them a principal counsellor to the Prophet. 
They were sent, they said, to know why the army was 
advancing upon them that the Prophet wished, if possible, 
to avoid hostilities ; that he had sent a pacific message by 
the Miami and Potawatamie chiefs, who had come to him 
on the part of the governor and that those chiefs had 
unfortunately gone down on the south side of the Wabasli. 
A suspension of hostilities was accordingly agreed upon ; 
and a meeting was to take place the next day between 
Harrison and the chiefs, to agree upon the terms of peace. 
The governor further informed them, that he would go on 
to the Wabash, and encamp there for the night. Upon 
marching a short distance he came in view of the town, 
which was seen at some distance up the river upon a 
commanding eminence. Major Daveiss and Adjutant 
Floyd had mistaken some scattered houses in the fields 
below, for the town itself. The ground below the town 
being unfavorable for an encampment, the army marched 
on in the direction of the town, with a view to obtain a 


better situation beyond it. The troops were in an order 
of march, calculated by a single conversion of companies, 
to form the order of battle, which it had last assumed, the 
dragoons being in front. This corps, however, soon be 
came entangled in ground, covered with brush and tops of 
fallen trees. A halt was ordered, and Major Daveiss 
directed to change position with Spencer s rifle corps, 
which occupied the open fields adjacent to the river. The 
Indians seeing this maneuver, at the approach of the 
troops towards the town, supposed that they intended to 
attack it, and immediately prepared for defence. Some 
of them sallied out, and called to the advanced corps to 
halt. The governor upon this rode forward, and requested 
some of the Indians to come to him, assured them, that 
nothing was farther from his thoughts, than to attack 
them that the ground below the town on the river was 
not calculated for an encampment, and that it was his 
intention to search for a better one above. He asked if 
there was any other water convenient beside that which 
the river afforded ; and an Indian with whom he was well 
acquainted, answered, that the creek, which had been 
crossed two miles back, ran through the prairie to the 
north of the village. A halt was then ordered, and some 
officers sent back to examine the creek, as well as the 
river above the town. In half an hour, Brigade-Major 
Marston Clarke and Major Waller Taylor returned, and 
reported that they had found on the creek, every thing that 
could be desirable in an encampment an elevated spot, 
nearly surrounded by an open prairie, with water con 
venient, and a sufficiency of wood for fuel. An idea was 
propagated by the enemies of Governor Harrison, after the 
battle of Tippecanoe, that the Indians had forced him to 
encamp on a place, chosen by them as suitable for the 
attack they intended. The place, however, was chosen 


by Majors Taylor and Clarke after examining all the 
environs of the town ; and when the army of General Hop 
kins was there in the following year, they all united in 
the opinion, that a better spot to resist Indians, was not 
to be found in the whole country. 

The army now marched to the place selected, and en 
camped late in the evening, on a dry piece of ground, which 
rose about ten feet above the level of a marshy prairie in 
front towards the town, and about twice as high above 
a similar prairie in the rear; through which, near the 
bank, ran a small stream clothed with willows and brush 
wood. On the left of the encampment, this bench of land 
became wider; on the right it gradually narrowed, and 
terminated in an abrupt point, about 150 yards from the 
right flank. The two columns of infantry occupied the 
front and rear. The right flank, being about eighty yards 
wide, was filled with Captain Spencer s company of eighty 
men. The left flank, about 150 yards in extent, was com 
posed of three companies of mounted riflemen, under Major- 
General Wells, commanding as a major. The front infan 
try, under the command of Major Floyd, flanked on the right 
by two companies of militia infantry, and on the left by 
one company of the same troops. The rear line consisted 
of a United States infantry, under Captain Baen, com 
manding, as a major; and four companies of militia infan 
try, under Lieutenant-Colonel Decker; the regulars being 
stationed next the riflemen under Wells, and the militia 
on the other end of the line adjoining Spencer s company. 
The cavalry under Daveiss were encamped in the rear of 
the front line and the left flank. The encampment was 
not more than three-fourths of a mile from the town. 

The order given to the army, in the event of a night 
attack, was for each corps to maintain its ground at all 
hazards till relieved. The dragoons were directed in such 


a case, to parade dismounted, with their swords on and 
their pistols in their belts, and to wait for orders. The 
guard for the night consisted of two captains commands 
of 42 men and 2 non-commissioned officers each ; and two 
subalterns guards of twenty men and non-commisssioned 
officers the whole under the command of a field officer 
of the day. 

The night was dark and cloudy; the moon rose late, 
and after midnight there was a drizzling rain. Many of 
the men appeared to be much dissatisfied; they were 
anxious for a battle, and the most ardent regretted, that 
they would have to return without one. The army gener 
ally had no expectation of an attack; but those who had 
experience in Indian affairs suspected some treachery. 
Colonel Daveiss was heard to say, he had no doubt but 
that an attack would be made before morning. 

It was the constant practice of Governor Harrison to 
call up the troops an hour before day, and keep them under 
arms till it was light. After 4 :00 o clock in the morning, 
the governor, General Wells, Colonel Owen and Colonel 
Daveiss had all risen, and the governor was going to issue 
his orders for raising the army; when the treacherous 
Indians had crept up so near the sentries, as to hear them 
challenge when relieved. They intended to rush upon the 
sentries and kill them before they could fire; but one of 
them discovered an Indian creeping towards him in the 
grass, and fired. This was immediately followed by the 
Indian yell, and a desperate charge upon the left flank. 
The guards in that quarter gave way, and abandoned their 
officer without making any resistance. Captain Barton s 
company of regulars and Captain Keiger s company of 
mounted riflemen, forming the left angle of the rear line, 
received the first onset. The fire there was excessive; but 
the troops who had lain on their arms, were immediately 


prepared to receive, and gallantly resist the furious savage 
assailants. The manner of the attack was calculated to 
discourage and terrify the men ; yet as soon as they could 
be formed and posted, they maintained their ground with 
desperate valor, though but very few of them had ever be 
fore been in battle. The fires in the camp were extin 
guished immediately, as the light they afforded was more 
serviceable to the Indians than to our men. 

As soon as the governor could mount his horse, he pro 
ceeded towards the point of attack, and finding the line 
much weakened there, he ordered two companies from the 
center of the rear line to march up and form across the 
angle in the rear of Barton s and Keiger s companies. 
General Wells immediately proceeded to the right of his 
command ; and Colonel Owen, who was with him, was pro 
ceeding directly to the point of attack, when he was shot 
from his horse near the lines, and thus bravely fell among 
the first victims of savage perfidy. A heavy fire now com 
menced all along the left flank, upon the whole of the 
front and right flank, and on a part of the rear line. 

In passing through the camp, towards the left of the 
front line, the governor met with Colonel Daveiss and the 
dragoons. The colonel informed him that the Indians, 
concealed behind some trees near the line, were annoying 
the troops very severely in that quarter; and he requested 
permission to dislodge them, which was granted. He 
immediately called on the first division of his cavalry to 
follow him, but the order was not distinctly heard, and 
but few of his men charged with him. Among those who 
charged, were two young gentlemen who had gone with 
him from Kentucky, Messrs. Mead and Sanders, who were 
afterwards distinguished as captains in the United States 
service. They had not proceeded far out of the lines, when 
Daveiss was mortally wounded by several balls and fell 


His men stood by him, and repulsed the savages several 
times, till they succeeded in carrying him into camp. 

In the meantime the attack on Spencer s and Warwick s 
companies on the right, became very severe, Captain Spen 
cer and his lieutenants were all killed, and Captain War 
wick was mortally wounded. The governor in passing 
towards that flank, found Captain Robb s company near 
the center of the camp. They had been driven from their 
post; or rather, had fallen back without orders. He sent 
them to the aid of Captain Spencer, where they fought 
very bravely, having seventeen men killed during the battle. 
Captain Prescott s company of United States infantry had 
filled up the vacancy caused by the retreat of Robb s com 
pany. Soon after Colonel Daveiss was wounded, Captain 
Snelling at the head of his company charged on the same 
Indians and dislodged them with considerable loss. The 
battle was now maintained on all sides with desperate 
valor. The Indians advanced and retreated by a rattling 
noise made with deer hoofs ; they fought with enthusiasm, 
and seemed determined on victory or death. 

As soon as da3^ight appeared, Captain Snell ing s com 
pany, Captain Posey s, under Lieutenant Albright, and 
Captain Scott s were drawn from the front line, and 
Wilson s from the rear, and formed on the left flank; while 
Cook s and Baen s companies were ordered to the right. 
General Wells took command of the corps formed on the 
left, and with the aid of some dragoons, who were now 
mounted and commanded by Captain Parke, made a suc 
cessful charge on the enemy in that direction, driving them 
into an adjoining swamp through which the cavalry could 
not pursue them. At the same time Cook s and Lieutenant 
Larbie s companies, with the aid of the riflemen and militia 
on the right flank, charged on the Indians and put them 
to flight in that quarter, which terminated the battle. 


During the time of this contest, the Prophet kept him 
self secure, on an adjacent eminence, singing a war song. 
He had told his followers, that the Great Spirit, would 
render the army of the Americans unavailing, and that 
their bullets would not hurt the Indians, who would have 
light, while the enemies were involved in thick darkness. 
Soon after the battle commenced, he was informed that his 
men were falling. He told them to fight on, it would soon 
be as he had predicted, and then began to sing louder. 

Colonel Boyd commanded as a brigadier general in this 
engagement; and the governor in his letter to the war 
department, speaks highly of him and his brigade, and of 
Clarke and Croghan who were his aides. Colonel Decker 
is also commended for the good order in which he kept his 
command; and of General Wells, it is said, that he sus 
tained the fame which he had acquired in almost every 
campaign since the first settlement of Kentucky. 

The officers and soldiers generally, performed their 
duties well. They acted with a degree of coolness, bravery 
and good order, which was not to be expected from men 
used to carnage, and in a situation so well calculated to 
produce terror and confusion. The fortune of war neces 
sarily put it in the power of some officers and their men, 
at the expense of danger, wounds and death, to render 
more service and acquire more honor than others; but to 
speak of their particular merits, would be to detail again 
the operations of the conflict. 

Of Colonels Owen and Daveiss, the governor speaks in 
the highest terms. Owen joined him as a private in 
Keiger s company at Fort Harrison, and accepted the 
place of volunteer aid. He had been a representative in 
the legislature of Kentucky. His character was that of a 
good citizen and a brave soldier. He left a wife and a large 
family of children, to add the poignancy of domestic grief 
to the public regret for his loss. 


Colonel Daveiss also joined the army as a private and 
was promoted on the recommendation of the officers of the 
dragoons; his conduct as their commander fully justified 
their choice. Never was there an officer possessed of more 
military ardor, nor more zeal to discharge all his duties 
with punctilious propriety; and never perhaps did any 
man, who had not been educated for the profession of arms, 
possess a richer fund of military information at his en 
trance on a military life. All that books and study could 
furnish, all the preparation the closet could make for the 
field, was his. He was a man of great talents of genius 
and indefatigable industry. In Kentucky he stood 
among the foremost in the profession of the law. His elo 
cution was singularly attractive and forcible. Wit and 
energy, acuteness and originality of thought, were the 
characteristics of his eloquence. But as an orator he was 
very unequal. Some times he did not rise above medio 
crity, whilst some of his happiest efforts were never sur 
passed in America never perhaps in any age or country. 
Such at least was the opinion of men, whose talents, ac 
quirements and taste, had qualified them to judge. He 
had much eccentricity in his manners and his dress. In 
his disposition he was generous; and in his friendship he 
was ardent. His person was about six feet high, well 
formed and robust his countenance open and manly. 
He had acquired fortune and fame by his own exertions 
neither his patrimony nor his education having been very 
ample. Being in the prime of life, and possessing great 
military ambition and acquirements, he was destined, per 
haps, had he lived, to become one of the first military 
characters of America. He died a few hours after the bat 
tle had closed. As soon as he was informed, that the In 
dians were repulsed, and the victory was complete, he 
observed, he could die satisfied that he had fallen in de 
fense of his country. He left a wife but no children. 


Captain Baen, who fell early in the action, had the 
character of an able officer and a brave soldier. Captain 
Spencer was wounded in the head he exhorted his men 
to fight on. He Avas then shot through both thighs, and 
fell still he continued to encourage his men. He was 
then raised up, and received a ball through his body 
which immediately killed him. His lieutenants, M Mahan 
and Berry, fell bravely encouraging their men. Warwick 
was shot through the body, and was taken to the surgery 
to be dressed ; as soon as it was over, being a man of much 
bodily strength and still able to walk, he insisted on going 
back to his post, though it was evident, he had but a few 
hours to live. Colonel White, formerly United States 
agent at the Saline, was also killed in the action. The 
whole number killed, with those who died soon of their 
wounds, was upwards of fifty; the wounded were about 
double that number. Governor Harrison himself narrow 
ly escaped, the hair on his head being cut by a ball. 

The Indians left 38 warriors dead on the field, and 
buried several others in the town, which with those who 
must have died of their wounds, would make their loss 
at least as great as that of the Americans. The troops 
under the command of Governor Harrison of every de 
scription, amounted on the day before the battle, to some 
thing more than 800. The ordinary force, that had been 
at the Prophet s town, throughout the preceding summer, 
was about 450. But they were joined a few days before 
the action, by all the Kickapoos of the Prairie, and by 
many bands of Potawatamies from the Illinois river, and 
the St. Josephs of Lake Michigan. They estimated their 
number after the battle, to have been 600 ; but the traders 
who had a good opportunity of knowing, made them at least 
800, and some as many as 1000. However, it is certain, 
that no victorv was ever before obtained over the northern 


Indians, where the numbers were anything like equal. 
The number of killed too was greater, than was ever before 
known. It is their custom always to avoid a close action, 
and from their dexterity in hiding themselves, but few of 
them can be killed, even when they are pouring destruction 
into the ranks of their enemy. It is believed that there 
were not ten of them killed at St. Glair s defeat, and still 
fewer at Braddock s. At Tippecanoe, they rushed up to 
the bayonets of our men, and in one instance, related by 
Captain Snelling, an Indian adroitly put the bayonet of a 
soldier aside, and clove his head with his war club, an 
instrument on which there is fixed a triangular piece of 
iron, broad enough to project several inches from the wood. 
Their conduct on this occasion, so different from what it 
usually is, was attributed to the confidence of success, with 
which their prophet had inspired them, and to the distin 
guished bravery of the Winebago warriors. 

The Indians did not determine to attack the American 
camp till late at night. The plan that was formed the 
evening before, was to meet the governor in council the 
next day, and agree to the terms he proposed. At the 
close of the council, the chiefs were to retire to the war 
riors, who were to be placed at a convenient distance. 
The governor was then to be killed by two Winebagoes, 
who had devoted themselves to certain death to accomplish 
this object. They were to loiter about the camp, after the 
council had broken up; and their killing the governor and 
raising the war whoop, was to be the signal for a general 
attack. The Indians were commanded by White Moon, 
Stone Eater, and Winemac, a Potawatamie chief, who had 
been with the governor on his march, and at Fort Harri 
son, making great professions of friendship. 

The 4th regiment was about 250 strong, and there were 
about 60 volunteers from Kentucky in the army. The 


rest of the troops were volunteers from the Indiana militia. 
Those from the neighborhood of Vincennes had been 
trained for several years, by the governor, and had become 
very expert in the maneuvers which he had adopted for 
fighting the Indians. The greater part of the territorial 
troops followed him as well from personal attachment as 
from a sense of duty. Indeed, a greater degree of confi 
dence and personal attachment has rarely been found in 
any army towards its commander, than existed in this ; nor 
has there been many battles in which the dependence of the 
army on its leader was more distinctly felt. During the 
whole action the governor was constantly on the lines, and 
always repaired to the point whicli was most hardly 
pressed. The reinforcements drawn occasionally from 
the points most secure, were conducted by himself and 
formed on the spot, where their services were most wanted. 
The officers and men who believed that their ultimate 
success depended on his safety, warmly remonstrated 
against his so constantly exposing himself. Upon one 
occasion as he was approaching an angle of the line, against 
which the Indians were advancing with horrible yells, 
Lieutenant Emerson of the dragoons seized the bridle of 
his horse, and earnestly entreated that he would not go 
there; but the governor putting spurs to his horse, pushed 
on to the point of attack, where the enemy were received 
with firmness and driven back. 

The army remained in camp on the 7th and 8th of 
November, to bury the dead and dress the wounded; and 
to make preparations for returning. During this time, 
General Wells was permitted with the mounted riflemen 
to visit the town, which he found evacuated by all, except 
a chief whose leg was broke. The general burnt their 
houses, destroyed their corn and brass kettles, and re 
turned to camp unmolested. The town was well prepared 


for an attack, and no doubt but the Indians fully ex 
pected it; for they had determined to agree to no terms 
which could be offered. The wounds of the chief being 
dressed, and provision made for him, he was left with in 
structions to tell his companions, that if they would 
abandon the Prophet and return to their respective tribes, 
they should be forgiven. 

On the 9th of November the return of the army was 
commenced. It marched slowly, on account of the 
wounded, the difficult}- of transportation, and some appre 
hensions of another attack. As the army had come up the 
river, a block house had been built on its bank, where some 
boats and heavy baggage had been left. The wounded were 
now put in the boats as the army returned, and were taken 
to Fort Harrison and Vincennes by water. Captain 
Snelling and his company were left at Fort Harrison ; and 
the governor arrived at Vincennes on the 18th, having been 
met and welcomed back by a concourse of two hundred 

The battle of Tippecanoe has been the subject of much 
speculation, both as to its object, and the manner of its 
execution and final issue. Governor Harrison was cen 
sured by some, for not making an attack upon the Indians, 
on the evening of the 6th of November, and for not fortify 
ing his camp with a breastwork. It was erroneously said 
by some, that indulging a false security, he had suffered 
his camp to be surprised. He was also blamed by the 
friends of Colonel Daveiss, for directing him with his 
dragoons only, to dislodge the Indians, who were sheltered 
near the line, and doing much execution in safety. Many 
other complaints of less magnitude were also made by 
men, who were wise after the transaction was over. There 
were indeed more able generals in the United States, who 
could tell what ought to be done after the battle was fought, 


than the governor had soldiers in his army to fight it. 
Colonel Boyd, who commanded the regulars, wishing to 
monopolize all the honor to himself and his regiment, con 
cluded the governor had not sufficiently noticed him in his 
report ; he therefore made a separate communication to the 
war department; and also made many round assertions 
respecting the conduct of the militia which was promptly 
explained, and the charges in general disapproved by Gover 
nor Harrison. Colonel Boyd, however, had his partizans, 
and some of them still persist in attributing the salvation 
of the army to him ; though all the troops, regulars as well 
as militia, with the exception of only three or four indi 
viduals, united in attributing the victory to the governor. 
Most of the officers publicly united in attesting his merits. 
Without intending to impeach Colonel Boyd with any 
dereliction of duty, we can positively aver, that he did not 
give a single order, nor perform a single act, that con 
tributed in any perceptible way to the issue of the contest. 
All the arrangements and orders before the action and 
during its continuance, came direct from Governor Har 

After much alternation, by which the battle of Tippe- 
canoe was fought over again and fully investigated, in all 
the public circles of the western country, the public opinion 
preponderated greatly in favor of the governor. All the 
material accusations of his enemies were disproved; and 
after all the testimony had been heard, the common opinion 
seemed to be, that the army had been conducted with 
prudence, and that the battle had been fought as well as it 
could have been by any general, considering the time and 
manner of the attack. If the governor had made the 
attack himself on the evening of the 6th, after a chief had 
informed him that the Indians were desirous of an accom 
modation, and had sent a messenger three days before to 


meet him for that purpose, his conduct would have had the 
appearance of rashness and cruelty. His enemies and the 
opposition in general, would have vilified him and the 
executive as murderers, who had first provoked, and then 
massacred those "innocent people" in their own dwellings. 
Hence a regard for his own character and for the dictates 
of humanity, required that he should not make an attack 
while any prospect of accommodation remained. The 
principal error consisted in not fortifying his camp, when 
so near the enemy and so likely to be attacked; but this 
excuses by stating, that the army had scarcely a sufficient 
number of axes to procure firewood. It is not the object 
of this history, however, to justify or condemn, but to re 
late facts 1 (Correctly and leave the reader to judge for himself. 

In December, the month after the battle, the legislature 
of Kentucky, on the motion of J. H. Hawkins, Esq., went 
into mourning for the loss of Colonels Daveiss, Owen, and 
others, who had fallen at Tippecanoe; and in the same 
session, while this battle was the subject of much discus 
sion, the following resolution, moved by J. J. Crittenden, 
Esq., was adopted with only two or three dissenting votes 
"Resolved, etc.. That in the late campaign against the 
Indians on the Wabash, Governor W. H. Harrison, has in 
the opinion of this legislature, behaved like a hero, a 
patriot, and a general; and that for his cool, deliberate, 
skillful and gallant conduct in the late battle of Tippe 
canoe, he well deserves the warmest thanks of the nation." 

The veteran soldier, Governor Charles Scott, approved 
this resolution, which at once gave tone to the popularity of 
Harrison, effectually turning the tide in his favor, and 
reducing the clamor of his enemies to private murmurs. 

On the 22nd of November, the annual meeting to the 
Indians to receive their annunities took place at F ort 
Wayne, where several of those who had fought in the battle, 


had the effrontery to present themselves and claim their 
respective portions. They had the address completely to 
deceive our Indian agent at that place, John Johnson, 
Esq. They represented, that the Prophet s party had him 
in confinement and were determined to kill him ; that they 
blamed him for all their misfortunes ; with many other de 
ceptive stories, which induced Mr. Johnson to inform the 
government, that the Indians were all inclined for peace, 
and that no further hostilities should be committed against 

Yet, at this very time, in most of the nations there 
assembled, a British faction was boiling to the brim, and 
ready to overflow on our devoted frontiers, whenever the 
perfidious British agents might think proper to increase 
the fire of their hostility. The Prophet instead of being in 
confinement, was at perfect liberty at Mississineway, a 
village about TO miles southeast from Fort Wayne. Pre 
vious to the battle, the Governor General of the Canadas, 
had given our government information, that some of the 
Indians were hostile to the United States; but this was 
evidently done to remove suspicion, and to render the 
British more secure and successful in their intrigues with 
the savages. 

The Indians, assembled at this place, were the chiefs 
and head men of the Delawares. Miamies, Potawatamies, 
and Shawanoese. The agent delivered them a speech, in 
which he explained to them, that the President wished to 
live in peace and friendship with them, and promised 
pardon to any of the hostile Indians who would lay down 
their arms. An answer was returned on the part of all 
the tribes present, by Black-Hoof, a Shawanoe chief, in 
which they professed the strongest desire to live in peace 
and friendship with the United States. The profession 
was sincere on the part of the Shawanoese, and a greater 



majority of the Delawares; but the Potawatamies and 
Miamies had no intention to be peaceable after receiving 
their annuities. The Little Turtle of the Miamies, now 
in the decline of life and of influence, was the strenuous 
advocate of peace, but the majority of his people followed 
the counsels of Tecumseh. 

On the Wabash, after the battle of Tippecanoe, the 
Indians remained quiet, and in a few days many of them 
returned to their towns. Before Christmas, Stone Eater, 
with two Winebagoes, one Kickapoo, and a Piankisshaw, 
came to Fort Harrison, and delivered a talk to Captain 
Snelling, in which they professed much contrition for what 
had happened, with a desire to be at friendship. The same 
fellow had defended the cause of Tecumseh in a council 
at Vincennes, shortly before the march of the expedition; 
and he now wished to go there again, to make deceptions 
offers of friendship to the governor. He pretended, that 
the Prophet was despised, and had escaped from them to 
the Huron Indians. After receiving orders from Governor 
Harrison, Captain Snelling permitted them to go on to Vin 
cennes, where they renewed their professions of friendship, 
and promised to punish the Prophet, or deliver him to the 
United States, as soon as they could catch him. They 
returned once more to their own country, determined not 
to commit hostilities again till a favorable opportunity 
should occur. 

During the winter of 1811-12, a number of Indians from 
various tribes came to Forts Harrison and Vincennes ; but 
Tecumseh, the Prophet, and others known to be the most 
hostile, staid behind hence little reliance could be placed 
on the professions of those who came in. After Tecumseh 
returned from the south, he visited Fort Wayne, and was 
still haughty, and obstinate in the opinions he had em 
braced. He matte bitter reproaches against Harrison; 


and at the same time had the presumption to demand 
ammunition from the commandant, which was refused 
him. He then said he would go to his British father, who 
would not deny him he appeared thoughtful a while, then 
gave the war whoop and went off. 

Early in the spring of 1812, Tecumseh and his party 
began to put their threats into execution. Small parties be 
gan to commit depredations on the frontiers of the Indiana 
and Illinois territories, and part of Ohio. Twenty scalps 
were taken in the Indiana territory alone before the 1st of 
June. The people were thus compelled to protect them 
selves by going into forts along the frontiers. Volunteer 
companies of militia were organized, and the marauders 
were frequently pursued, but generally without success, 
as they fled immediately after doing mischief. Governor 
Harrison requested permission from the war department, 
to raise a mounted force and penetrate to their towns to 
chastise them. They occupied Tippecanoe, and had com 
menced raising corn. But the governor was not permitted 
to march against them, and the frontiers continued to 
suffer in every direction. Had a strong mounted army 
been permitted to scour the Wabash as far as Mississine- 
way, the settlements of the savages would have been 
completely destroyed, and their depredations would have 
ceased. The government appears to have pursued a mis 
taken policy of forbearance, lest the Indians should join 
the British in the expected war. But this forbearance 
only inspired them with a belief, that we were weak and 
pusillanimous, and tended to ensure their alliance with 
the British, had anything been necessary for that purpose. 
By vigorous measures we might easily have beaten them 
into peaceable deportment and respect. Mr. Secretary 
Eustis of the war department, thought differently; and 
Avhile he was attempting to soothe them with good words ; 


they were laughing at his credulity. To maintain peace 
with an Indian, it is necessary to adopt his own principles 
and punish every aggression promptly, and thus convince 
him that you are a man and not a squaw. 

In May, Governor Harrison made considerable ar 
rangements towards organizing a corps of mounted volun 
teers, to chastise the Indians on the Wabash. A company 
of mounted volunteers was raised in Franklin county, 
Ky., containing about TO gentlemen of respectability, under 
the command of Capt. John Arnold, and Col. Anthony 
Crocket, who had distinguished themselves not only in the 
revolution, but in most of the Indian wars at an early 
period in Kentucky. This company remained at Vin- 
cennes only 10 days; during which time several parties 
made excursions up the Wabash, and protected the inhabi 
tants while planting their corn. The governor being dis 
appointed in receiving orders for the expedition from the 
war department, the company was dismissed; and all 
measures for offensive operations being abandoned, the 
Indians pursued their course of robbery and murder on 
the frontiers unresisted. 

It will no doubt be interesting to the reader, to con 
clude the present chapter with the following letter from 
General Harrison to the war department, respecting the 
north western Indians. It contains, says tlie general, in a 
different letter to the secretary : "A sketch of the situation 
of each of the tribes bordering on this frontier; and an 
abstract of the policy, which has been pursued in the 
negotiations, which have been conducted by me, for the 
extinguishment of their title to lands, since the year 1801 ; 
and which you could only otherwise obtain, by wading 
through a most voluminous correspondence in the archives 
of your office." It will further explain the cause of Indian 


hostility, and enable the reader to understand more cor 
rectly many parts in the following history : 

"H. Q., Cincinnati, March 22nd, 1814. 

"Sir The tribes of Indians upon this frontier and 
east of the Mississippi, with whom the United States have 
been connected by treaty, are the Wyandots, Delawarcs, 
Shawanoese, Miamies, Potawatamies, Ottawas, Cliippewas, 
Piankashaws, Kaskaskias, and Saes. All but the two last 
were in the confederacy, which carried on the former In 
dian war against the United States, that was terminated 
Vv the peace of Greenville. The Kaskaskias were parties 
to the treaty, but they had not been in the war. The 
Wyandots are admitted by the others to be the leading 
tribe. They hold the grand calumet, which unites them 
and kindles the council fire. This tribe is nearly equally 
divided between the Crane at Sandusky, who is the grand 
Sachem of the nation, and Walk-in-the-Water at Browns- 
town near Detroit. They claim the lands, bounded by the 
settlements of this State, southwardly and eastwardly; 
and by Lake Erie, the Miami river, and the claim of the 
Shawanoese upon the Auglaize, a branch of the latter. 
They also claim the lands they live on near Detroit, but I 
am ignorant to what extent. 

"The Wyandots of Sandusky have adhered to us 
through the war. Their Chief, the Crane, is a venerable, 
intelligent, and upright man. Within the tract of land 
claimed by the W T yandots a number of Senecas are settled. 
They broke off from their own tribe six or eight years ago, 
but receive a part of the annuity granted that tribe by the 
United States, by sending a deputation for it to Buffalo. 
The claim of the Wyandots to the lands they occupy, is 
not disputed, that I know of, by any other tribe. Their 
residence on it, however, is not of long standing, and the 
country was certainly once the property of the Miamies. 

"Passing westwardly from the Wyandots, we meet with 
the Shawanoese settlement at Stony creek, a branch of the 
Big Miami, and at Wapockaunata on the Auglaize. These 
settlements were made immediately after the treaty of 
Greenville, and with the consent of the Miamies, whom I 


consider the real owners of those lands. The chiefs of this 
band of Shawanoese, Blackhoof, Wolf, and Lewis, are 
attached to us from principle as well as interest they are 
all honest men. 

"The Miamies have their principal settlements at the 
forks of the Wabash, thirty miles from Fort Wayne; and 
at Mississineway, thirty miles lower down. A band of 
them under the name of Weas, have resided on the Wabash 
sixty miles above Vincennes; and another under the Tur 
tle on Eel river, a branch of the Wabash, twenty miles 
northwest of Fort Wayne. By an artifice of the Little 
Turtle, these three bands were passed on General Wayne 
as distinct tribes, and an annuity was granted to each. 
The Eel river and Weas, however, to this day call them 
selves Miamies, and are recognized as such by the Missis- 
seneway band. The Miamies, Maumees, or Tewicktovies, 
are the undoubted proprietors of all that beautiful country 
which is watered by the Wabash and its branches; and 
there is as little doubt, that their claim extended at least 
as far east as the Scioto. They have no tradition of remov 
ing from any other quarter of the country; whereas all the 
neighboring tribes, the Pianishaws expected, who are a 
branch of the Miamies, are either intruders upon them, or 
have been permitted to settle their country. The Wyan- 
dots emigrated first from Lake Ontario, and subsequently 
from Lake Huron the Delawares, from Pennsylvania and 
Maryland the Shawanoese from Georgia the Kickapoos 
and Potawatamies from the country between Lake Michi 
gan and the Mississippi and the Ottawas and Chippewas 
from the peninsula formed by the lakes Michigan, Huron, 
and St. Clair, and the strait connecting the latter with 
Erie. The claims of the Miamies were bounded on the 
north by those of the Illinois confederacy, consisting origi 
nally of five tribes, called Kaskaskias, Cohokias, Peorians, 
Michiganians, and Temarios, speaking the Miami lan 
guage, and no doubt branches of that nation. 

"When I was first appointed Governor of Indiana Ter 
ritory, these once powerful tribes were reduced to about 
thirty warriors, of whom twenty-five were Kaskaskias, 
four Peorians, and a single Michiganian. There was an 


individual lately alive at St. Louis, who saw the enumera 
tion made of them by the Jesuits in the year 1745, making 
the number of their w r arriors four thousand. A furious 
war between them and the Saes and Kickapoos, reduced 
them to that miserable remnant, which had taken refuge 
amongst the wliite people of the towns of Kaskaskia and 
St. Genevieve. The Kickapoos had fixed their principle 
village at Peoria, upon the south bank of the Illinois river, 
\vhilst the Saes remained masters of the country to the 

"During the war of our revolution, the Miamies had 
invited the Kickapoos into their country to assist them 
against the whites, and a considerable village w r as formed 
by that tribe on the Vermilion river near its junction with 
the Wabash. After the treaty of Greenville, the Delawares 
had with the approbation of the Miamies, removed from 
the mouth of the Auglaize to the head w r aters of White 
river, a large branch of the Wabash and the Potawa- 
tamies without their consent had formed two villages upon 
the latter river, one at Tippecanoe, and the other at 
Chippoy twenty-five miles below. 

"The Piankishaw r s lived in the neighborhood of Vin- 
cennes, which was their ancient village, and claimed the 
lands to the mouth of the Wabash, and to the north and 
west as far as the Kaskaskians claimed. Such was the 
situation of the tribes, when I received the instructions 
of President Jefferson, shortly after his first election, to 
make efforts for extinguishing the Indian claims upon the 
Ohio, below the mouth of the Kentucky river, and to such 
other tracts as were necessary to connect and consolidate 
our settlements. It was at once determined, that the com 
munity of interests in the lands amongst the Indian tribes, 
which seemed to be recognized by the treaty of Greenville, 
should be objected to ; and that each individual tribe should 
be protected in every claim that should appear to be 
founded in reason and justice. But it was also determined, 
that as a measure of policy and liberality, such tribes as 
lived upon any tract of land which it would be desirable 
to purchase, should receive a portion of the compensation, 
although the title might be exclusively in another tribe. 


Upon this principle the Delawares, Shawanoese, Potawa- 
tamies, and Kickapoos were admitted as parties to several 
of the treaties. Care was taken, however, to place the 
title to such tracts as it might be desirable to purchase 
hereafter, upon a footing that would facilitate the procur 
ing of them, by getting the tribes who had no claim them 
selves, and who might probably interfere, to recognize the 
titles of those who were ascertained to possess them. 

"This was particularly the case with regard to the 
lands watered by the Wabash, which were declared to be 
the property of the Miamies, with the exception of the tract 
occupied by the Delawares on White river, which was to 
be considered the joint property of them and the Miamies. 
This arrangement was very much disliked by Tecumseh, 
and the banditti that he had assembled at Tippecanoe. 
He complained loudly, as well of the sales that had been 
made, as of the principle of considering a particular tribe 
as the exclusive proprietors of any part of the country, 
which he said the Great Spirit had given to all his red 
children. Besides the disaffected amongst the neighbor 
ing tribes, he had brought together a considerable number 
of Winebagoes and Folsovoins from the neighborhood of 
Green Bay, Saes from the Mississippi, and some Ottawaa 
and Chippewas from Abercrosh on Lake Michigan. These 
people were better pleased with the climate and country 
of the Wabash, than with that they had left. 

"The Miamies resisted the pretensions of Tecumseh and 
his followers for some time, but a system of terror wa 
adopted, and the young men were seduced by eternally 
placing before them a picture of labor, and restriction as 
to hunting, to which the system adopted would inevitably 
lead. The Potawatamies and other tribes inhabiting the 
Illinois river and south of Lake Michigan, had been for a 
long time approaching gradually towards the Wabash. 
Their country, which was never abundantly stocked with 
game, was latterly almost exhausted of it, The fertile 
regions of the W T abash still afforded it. It was repre 
sented, that the progressive settlements of the whites upon 
that river, would soon deprive them of their only resources, 


and, indeed would force the Indians of that river upon 
them, who were already half starved. 

"It is a fact, that for many years the current of emigra 
tion, as to the tribes east of the Mississippi, has been from 
north to south. This is owing to two causes: the diminu 
tion of those animals from which the Indians procure their 
support; and the pressure of the two great tribes, the 
Chippewas and Sioux to the north and west. So long ago 
as the treaty of Greenville, the Potawatainies gave notice 
to the Mianiies, that they intended to settle upon the 
Wabash. They made no pretensions to the country, and 
their only excuse for the intended aggression, was that 
"they were tired of eating fish, and wanted meat." It 
has been already observed that the Saes had extended 
themselves to the Illinois river, and that the settlement of 
the Kickapoos at the Peorias was of modern date. Pre 
viously to the commencement of the present war, a con 
siderable number had joined their brethren upon the 
Wabash. The Tawas from the Des Moines river have 
twice made attempts to get a footing there. 

"From these facts it will be seen, that it will be nearly 
impossible to get the Indians south of the Wabash to go 
beyond the Illinois river. The subject of providing an 
outlet to such of the tribes as it might be desirable to 
remove, had been under consideration for many years. 
There is but one. It was long since discovered by the 
Indians themselves, and but for the humane policy, which 
has been pursued by our government, the Delawares, Kick 
apoos, and Shawanoese would long since have been out of 
our way. The country claimed by the Osages abounds 
with everything that is desirable to a savage. The Indians 
of the tribes above mentioned have occasionally intruded 
upon them a war was the consequence, which would soon 
have given a sufficient opening for emigration. But our 
government interfered and obliged the hostile tribes to 
make peace. 

"I was afterwards instructed to endeavor to get the 
Delawares to join that part of their tribe, which is settled 
on the west side of the Mississippi near Cape Girardeau. 
The attempt was unsuccessful at the time. I have no 


doubt, however, that they could be prevailed on to move; 
but it ought not in my opinion to be attempted in a general 
council of the tribe. 

"The question of the title to the lands south of the 
Wabash has been thoroughly examined; every opportun 
ity was afforded to Tecumseh and his party to exhibit 
their pretensions, and they were found to rest upon no 
other basis, than that of their being the common property 
of all the Indians. The Potawatamies and Kickapoos have 
unequivocally acknowledged the Miami and Delaware 
title. The latter, as I before observed, can, I think, be in 
duced to remove. It may take a year or eighteen months 
to effect it. The Miamies will not be in our way. They 
are a poor, miserable, drunken set, diminishing every 
year. Becoming too lazy to hunt, they feel the advantage 
of their annuity. The fear of the other Indians has alone 
prevented them from selling their whole claim to the 
United States ; and as soon as there is peace, or the British 
can no longer intrigue, they will sell. I know not what 
inducement can be held out to the Wyandots to remove; 
they were not formerly under my superintendence, but I 
am persuaded that a general council could not be the place 
to attempt it. 

I have the honor, etc., etc., 

lion. J. Armstrong, 
Secretary of War. 

F rom this able and interesting review of Indian set 
tlements, rights, and politics the result of an intimacy, 
for 20 years, with those affairs we are enabled to judge 
of the justice of the cause advocated by Tecumseh. His 
scheme of policy was certainly well calculated to secure 
and promote the best interests of the Indians as savages; 
but to render it just in theory, and efficient in practice, 
it was necessary that it should receive the undivided 
sanction and support of all the tribes concerned. This, 
all the talents and persevering industry of Tecumseh, aided 
by the intrigues and bribes of the British, were enabled to 


effect. To form a confederacy out of so many and such 
various tribes, required a degree of civilization to which 
the Indians had not attained. If such a union were 
actually effected, it is improbable that any purchase of 
lands could ever afterwards be accomplished by the United 
States. The consent of all the tribes in a general council, 
to the cession of any part of their country, was considered 
by the advocates of the scheme as a thing unattainable. 
On the contrary, while no such confederacy existed in fact, 
bad our government acknowledged the principle of Tecum- 
seh, that a community of interest in their lands was a 
matter of natural right, we should have been subjected 
to great inconvenience in the extension of our settlements. 
As soon as one tribe had sold us a parcel of land, other 
hordes might settle on it in succession, and by the mere 
temporary occupancy of the soil, compel our government 
to purchase it again tAventy times over. 

It is doubtless true, that scarcely any tribe has lands 
appropriated to itself by exact and special boundaries. 
Its villages and the lands immediately around them, may 
be considered as clearly its exclusive property; but the 
remote wilderness, between the more distant settlements 
of different tribes, is not partitioned with any precision, 
except where nature may have done it, by a water course or 
some such striking limit. The wandering nature of their 
occupation renders a more exact appropriation impractic 
able. This vagueness of their claims, however, is no 
foundation for the doctrine of a common property. The 
Miamies appear to have been the original occupants and 
real owners of all the lands northwest of the Ohio; but 
other tribes have gradually intruded, and formed settle 
ments with or without their consent, till they are at last 
reduced to narrow limits and insignificance themselves. 


During those transactions with the Indians, which have 
been described in the preceding chapters, affairs between 
the United States and Great Britain were fast approach 
ing to a crisis. In April an embargo was laid by Congress 
on all the shipping in the ports and harbors of the United 
States. An act authorizing the President to detach one 
hundred thousand militia for six months was passed and 
carried into execution ; several others authorizing a regular 
army to be raised were also passed ; and the people in gen 
eral expected that a declaration of war would soon take 

In April the President made a requisition on the State 
of Ohio for twelve hundred militia, and ordered the 4th 
regiment from Vincennes to Cincinnati, under the com 
mand of Colonel Miller, to be joined with the militia. 
Boyd, in the meantime, having gone to Washington City, 
had been promoted to the rank of brigadier general. In 
obedience to the requisition, Governor Meigs, of Ohio, 
issued orders to the major generals of the middle and 
western divisions of that State, for their respective pro 
portions of men, to rendezvous on the 29th of April at 
Dayton, a town at the mouth of Mad river on the Big 
Miami. The corps were raised without difficulty the 
people of Ohio, with an ardent love of country and zeal for 
its interests, voluntarily tendered their services to the gov 
ernment of their choice. In a few days, more than the 



number wanted came forward. Citizens of the first re 
spectability enrolled themselves, and prepared for the 
dangers of the field, contending with each other who 
should go first into the service of their country. The 
troops being collected, they proceeded to choose their field 
officers, when Duncan M Arthur was elected colonel of the 
first regiment, and James Denny and William A. Trimble, 
majors for the 2nd regiment, James Findley, colonel, and 
Thomas Moore and Thos. B. Vanhorne, majors for the 
3rd, Lewis Cass, colonel, and Robert Morrison and J. R. 
Munson, majors. 

No accommodations having been prepared for the 
troops, they were obliged to camp without tents or other 
equipage; and having been hurried from home very sud 
denly, they had to encounter many difficulties without 
being prepared to meet them. Most of them had never 
been in a camp before, and were entirely unacquainted with 
the necessary equipments. It was the middle of May be 
fore blankets and camp equipage arrived from Pittsburgh 
by the way of Cincinnati. 

William Hull, Esq., governor of the Michigan Terri 
tory, having been appointed a brigadier general in the 
army of the United States, was destined to command these 
troops. He arrived at Dayton about the 20th of May, 
and appointed his son, Capt. A. F. Hull, and Robert 
Wallace, Jr., his aides Lieut. Thos. S. Jessup, his brigade 
major and Doctor Ab. Edwards, his hospital surgeon. 
General James Taylor, of Kentucky, also accompanied his 
army as quartermaster general. The organization of the 
troops into regiments being completed, Governor Meigs 
proceeded as directed by the Secretary of War, to surrender 
the command to General Hull. The 25th of May, being 
selected for this ceremony, the army was formed in close 
column, and addressed by the governor in a speech full of 


patriotic sentiments and good advice. He congratulated 
them on being placed under General Hull, a distinguished 
officer of revolutionary experience; and who, being super 
intendent of Indian affairs, and governor of the territory 
to which they were destined, would thence be able more 
effectually to provide for their comfort and convenience. 
Colonel Cass also delivered an appropriate address, which 
was received with much applause. General Hull being 
invested with command, then addressed the troops in flat 
tering and animated terms. After commending their 
patriotism and recommending discipline, he proceeded: 
"In marching through a wilderness memorable for savage 
barbarity, you will remember the causes, by which the 
barbarity had been heretofore excited. In viewing the 
ground stained with the blood of your fellow citizens, it 
will be impossible to suppress the feelings of indignation. 
Passing by the ruins of a fortress, erected in our territory 
by a foreign nation, in times of profound peace, and for 
the express purpose of exciting the savages to hostility, and 
supplying them with the means of conducting a barbarous 
war, must remind you of that system of oppression and 
injustice, which that nation had continually practiced, 
and which the spirit of an indignant people can no longer 

The delivery of this speech by the general animated 
every breast, and great expectations were formed of his 
prowess and abilities. His manners were familiar and 
his appearance prepossessing. The frost of time had given 
him a venerable aspect, and the idea of his revolutionary 
services inspired the troops with confidence. Such were 
the auspicious circumstances under which General Hull 
took command of the army. Those who were induced by 
their discernment, or their intimate acquaintance with the 
general, to doubt his abilities to lead an invading army, 


hesitated to express their sentiments, and were silent be 
fore the voice of public admiration. 

On the first of June, the army marched up the Miami 
to Staunton, a small village on the east bank. Here they 
waited for the boats in which the baggage was coming up 
the river. They intended to ascend Lorimies river 18 miles, 
then march by Piqua to the Auglaize, and then descend 
that river. But on the 6th of June, they were informed, 
that the water was too low for the boats to ascend they 
were then ordered by the general to march to Urbana, a 
village about 30 miles to the east of Staunton. Here they 
were informed on the morning of the 8th, by a general 
order, that they would be met that day on parade, by the 
governor accompanied by many distinguished citizens and 
some Indian chiefs. On the following day, Governor 
Meigs and General Hull held a council with 12 chiefs, of 
the Shawanoe, Mingoe, and Wyandot nations, to obtain 
leave from them t o march the army through their territory, 
and to erect such forts as might be deemed necessary; 
which was promptly granted by them, and every assistance, 
which they could give the army in the wilderness was 
promised. Governor Meigs had held a council with these 
Indians on the 6th, in which it was agreed to adhere to the 
treaty of Greenville. 

At these councils, the just and humane policy of our 
government, was exhibited in fair-dealing with the Indians, 
and in exhorting them to peace and neutrality. It forms 
a striking contrast to the conduct of the British, who were 
using every insidious means to engage the Indians in their 
service, and to excite them to massacre our innocent women 
and children. 

On the 10th of June, the 4th regiment, with Colonel 
Miller at its head, arrived at Urbana. They were met 
about a mile from town, by Colonels M Arthur, Cass, and 


Findley, at the head of their respective regiments, by 
whom they were escorted into camp, through a triumphal 
arch, adorned with an eagle, and inscribed with the words, 
TIPPECANOE GLORY. On this occasion the general 
issued a congratulatory order to his troops to excite their 

"H. Q. Urbana, June 10, 1812. 

"The general congratulates the army on the arrival of 
the 4th U. S. Regiment. The first army of the State of 
Ohio will feel a pride in being associated with a regiment 
so distinguished for its valor and discipline. The general 
is persuaded, that there will be no other contention in this 
army, but who will most excel in discipline and bravery. 
Whatever the rank of the regiment, or to whatever de 
scription it belongs, it will in reality consider itself the 
first regiment in the army. The patriots of Ohio, who 
yield to none in spirit and patriotism, will not be willing to 
yield to any in discipline and valor. 

THOS. S. JESSUP, Brig. Major." 

On the next day General M Arthur was detached with 
his regiment, to cut a road for the army as far as the Scioto 
river, which rises northwest of the head branches of the 
Big Miami. The whole army having moved as far as 
King s creek, three miles from Urbana, another general 
order was issued on the 16th of June, from which the fol 
lowing are extracts : "In the honor of this army the general 
feels the deepest interest. He sincerely hopes, that nothing 
will take place during the campaign, to tarnish the fame 
it has already acquired; its glory, however, is not yet com 
plete. Bare professions of patriotism do not establish the 
character of a patriot. It is necessary for this army to 
meet with a cheerful and manly fortitude, the fatigues and 
dangers it may be called to encounter, before it can be 
entitled to the honorable appellation of a patriotic army. 
It is easy to boast of patriotism ; it is hard to perform the 



duties it requires. The general retains the highest con 
fidence in the honorable motives of this army, and he 
assures the officers and soldiers, that while on the one 
hand he will do all in his power for their comfort and con 
venience, on the other hand he expects a ready submission 
to his orders and a punctual discharge of all their duties. 

On the day this order was issued, Colonel M Arthur s 
regiment had opened the road as far as the Scioto, and 
had begun to build two block houses on the south bank of 
the river, which is there, but 40 or 50 feet wide. These 
houses were strengthened by stockades, and in honor of 
the colonel, the whole was called Fort M ? Arthur. At this 
place, Peter Vassar, a Frenchman, while on guard deliber 
ately shot a brother sentry by the name of Joseph England, 
and wounded him badly, but he afterwards recovered and 
returned home. Vassar was put under guard, and a gen 
eral order was issued, prohibiting sutlers from selling 
liquor to any non-commissioned officer or private, without 
a Avritten permit from his commanding officer. 

The whole army having arrived here on the 19th, Col 
onel Findley was ordered to proceed with his regiment on 
the 21st, and cut the road as far as Blanchard s fork of 
the Auglaize; and on the 22nd, the w r hole army followed, 
except a part of Captain Dill s company, which was left 
to keep the fort and take care of the sick. It now rained 
for several days excessively, so as to render the road almost 
impassable for wagons. After marching only 16 miles, 
the army halted again, in the midst of a swampy country, 
in which the water courses, both of the Ohio and the lakes, 
have their sources. A block house was erected here, which 
was honored with the name of Fort Necessity. The mud 
was deep, and from every appearance the whole army was 
likely to stick in the swamps. The horses and oxen were 
put on short allowance; and every man who could make 


a pack saddle was detailed on that business. The general 
intended to transport his baggage on pack horses; but as 
soon as a sufficient number of saddles were made, the order 
was rescinded, and the} were deposited in the block house. 

The general s first order of march was given, it is be 
lieved, on the 20th of June, at F ort M Arthur; but he 
seems to have entirely forgotten to give his army an order 
of battle perhaps he did not deem it necessary, intending 
.to do all the fighting himself on paper. The following 
was the order of march : "The 4th United States regiment 
on the right ; Colonel M Arthur on the left ; Colonel Pindley 
on the left of the 4th; and Colonel Cass on the right of 
M Arthur; the cavalry .on the right of the whole. In 
marching, the riflemen of the respective regiments, will 
form the flank guards, and on the day the army marches, 
they will be excused from any other duty." 

When the army was ready to march from Fort Neces 
sity, they were met by General Robert Lucas and Mr. Win. 
Deeny, who had been sent by General Hull from Dayton, 
with dispatches for Mr. Atwater, the acting governor at 
Detroit. Their report was not the most favorable. Gen 
eral Lucas had been present at several councils, held by 
Mr. Atwater with the chiefs of the Ottawa and Chippewa 
tribes, and the Wyandots of Brownstown. They all ex 
pressed a disposition to be friendly, except Walk-in-the- 
Water, of the Wyandots, who declared that the American 
Government was acting improperly in sending an army 
into their country, which would cut off their communica 
tion with Canada. He said the Indians were their own 
masters and would trade where they pleased ; and that the 
disturbance on the Wabash was the fault of Governor 
Harrison entirely. General Lucas had also ascertained, 
that the British had collected a considerable body of 
Indians at Maiden, who were fed and supplied with arms 


and ammunition, and were ready to fight the Americans 
at the first signal from their employers. It Avas repre 
sented that Detroit was in a bad state of defense, and that 
the citizens generally were much elated at the approach 
of an army for their protection. General Lucas had no 
opportunity of visiting Fort Maiden ; but from every infor 
mation, it was believed to be in a much worse situation 
than Detroit, one side of it being entirely open. 

The weather having become more favorable, the army 
at last marched from Fort Necessity, and arrived in three 
days at Blanehard s Fork, where Colonel Findley had built 
block houses and stockading on the southwest side, which 
was called Fort Findley. On the 26th of June, Colonel 
Dunlap arrived in camp as an express from Chillicothe, 
with dispatches from the war department for General Hull. 
They were confidential ; but it was believed, that they con 
tained certain and official intelligence of the declaration 
of war against England, as the general ordered all the 
heavy camp equipage to be left at this fort, and determined 
to commence a forced march. Colonel Cass was sent with 
his regiment to cut the remainder of the road to the Rapids ; 
and the balance of Captain Dill s company being left at 
the fort, the army proceeded, but not with more speed than 
usual, and in a few days encamped on the banks of the 
Miami of the Lake, opposite the battle ground of General 
Wayne, and in view of a small village at the foot of the 
rapids. Here the army Avas cheered Avith a vieAV of civi 
lized habitations, after a tedious inarch through a dreary 
Avilderness. Having delayed here a day, they marched 
doAvn through the village in regular order, and encamped 
just below the ruins of the old British Fort Miami, from 
which the Indians were supplied by the British, previous 
to their battle with Wayne on the 20th of August, 94. 


At this place, a small schooner, belonging to a Captain 
Chapin, was employed to carry a quantity of baggage to 
Detroit, about 30 officers and privates being put on board 
for its protection. It being the last of the month, com 
plete muster rolls of every company in the brigade, were 
made out and deposited in a trunk, which was put on board 
this vessel. An open boat with the sick, was also sent in 
company with Captain Chapin. It was here represented to 
General Hull, by Captain M Pherson, of Cincinnati, that 
war must have been declared, and that the schooner would 
certainly be captured at Maiden. Notwithstanding this 
suggestion, and the general s own knowledge on the sub 
ject, he persisted in sending the vessel. 

Lieutenant Davidson with 25 men being left here to 
build a block house, the army again marched on the 1st of 
July, after considerable time spent in preparation as usual. 
Their route was through an open country, interspersed 
with thin groves of oak, and scattering settlements of 
French. When they arrived at the river Raisin, on which 
there is a handsome village of French inhabitants, infor 
mation was received, that the schooner, in attempting to 
pass Maiden with the baggage, had been captured by the 
British, and the whole crew and passengers made prisoners, 
the enemy having previously received intelligence of the 
declaration of war which was made on the 18th of June by 
the American Government. Though General Hull had cer 
tainly received some intimation of this act of the govern 
ment by Colonel Dunlap, yet the troops had not been in 
formed of it, till the evening before they reached the River 
Raisin, at which time the baggage had been captured. 
The colonels having on that evening informed their men 
of the declaration of war, and that the situation of the army 
required strict subordination, firmness, and bravery to 
insure success; and each man being supplied with ten 


rounds of ammunition and an extra flint ; every heart beat 
warm in the cause of the country, and new life and anima 
tion beamed in every countenance. 

A day was spent at the River Raisin; and a day and a 
half in marching fifteen miles to the River Huron. Here 
the 4th of July was spent in erecting a bridge over the 
river, which is but 40 feet wide, but very deep. The road 
crosses about half a mile from the lake, from which place 
the army had a full view of the Canada shore below Maiden, 
and a delightful prospect of Lake Erie to the east. A large 
vessel, supposed to be the Queen Charlotte, with troops on 
board, was seen going towards Maiden, where the firing 
of cannon was distinctly heard. An attack from the 
British and Indians was expected at this place, and the 
army anxiously desiring it, was kept under arms the 
whole day. 

On the 5th, the army marched early, and having passed 
the villages of Brownstown and Maguaga, and the rivers 
DeCorce and Roach, it arrived at Springwells, the lower 
end of the Detroit settlement, and but two miles from the 
town. Here is a handsome eminence on the River Detroit, 
well calculated for a fort, which w r ould command the town 
of Sandwich on the Canada shore, the river being about 
three quarters of a mile wide. The following extract from 
a general order issued at this place, will show in what 
manner General Hull informed the northwestern posts of 
the declaration of war. "The garrisons of Detroit, Michili- 
macinac, Chicago, and Fort Wayne, being placed by the 
President of the United States, under the command of 
General Hull, the commanding officers of those garrisons 
are informed, that Congress has declared war against 
Great Britain; and they will immediately place their gar 
risons in the best possible state of defense, and make a 
return to Brigade Major Jessup at Detroit, of the quan- 


tity of provisions the contractor has on hand at their re 
spective posts, the number of officers and men, ordnance 
and military stores of every kind, and the public property 
of all kinds." When this general order, containing a 
variety of other matters trivial and local, had issued from 
the pen of the general, it was left to find a conveyance to 
Chicago and Macinaw, in the best way it could, no human 
means being employed by the general for that purpose. 

On the morning of the 6th, Colonel Cass was sent with 
a flag of truce to Maiden, which was commanded at that 
time by Colonel St. George. The object was to demand 
the baggage and prisoners captured in the schooner. When 
he arrived there, he was blind-folded, and his demands 
were refused ; he then returned to camp with Captain Bur- 
banks of the British army. In this instance General Hull 
betrayed his ignorance of military diplomacy, in sending 
Colonel Cass with a flag to an equal, if not an inferior 
in rank. But, perhaps, there was some greater object in 
view than simply to demand the baggage. 

Five pieces of artillery were brought down from the 
fort on the 7th and placed on the bank in front of the army, 
in a situation to annoy the enemy at Sandwich. On the 
same day the general held a council with the principal 
chiefs of the Wyandot, Shawanoe, Potawatamie, Seneca 
and Mohawk nations, which ended in their professing to 
be our friends. On the next day the general became 
alarmed, lest the enemy should bombard his camp from 
the upper side of Sandwich; he, therefore, removed into 
the rear of Detroit to be out of the reach of danger. 

The town of Detroit contains about 1 60 houses and 700 
inhabitants. It is handsomely situated on the west side 
of the River Detroit, about nine miles below Lake St. 
Clair, the opening of which can be seen from the town. 
Port Detroit stands on an elevated spot of ground, in the 


rear of the town, and about 250 yards from the bank of 
the river. It is a square, containing nearly two acres of 
ground. It is surrounded with a double row of pickets, the 
outside row being set in the ditch, and the other obliquely 
in the bank, which is thrown up against the walls of the 
fort, and which is so high, that at some distance from the 
fort, the interior buildings cannot be seen. The ground 
gradually declines from the fort in every direction. It is 
badly situated to command the river; but it is a place of 
great strength, and could not be injured by any battery 
on the same side of the river. The inhabitants about 
Detroit are mostly descendents of the old French settlers, 
professing the Catholic religion. The Territory can raise 
betw r een six and seven hundred militia. 

Preparations were now made for the invasion of Can 
ada; arms were repaired and carriages made for the 
cannon; and the officers endeavored to inspire their men 
with ardor, a willingness to obey, and a determination 
to avenge the w r rongs of their country, by invading the 
territories of her enemy. The night of the 10th was 
appointed for crossing into Canada; but it was prevented 
by the disorderly conduct of some individuals, who kept 
firing their guns, by one of whom Major Munson was 
severely wounded. But few of the enemy were to be 
seen on the opposite shore ; it was deemed necessary, how 
ever, to use some precaution in landing. On the evening 
of the llth, the regiment of Colonel M Arthur, accom 
panied by some boats, was marched down to the Spring- 
wells, to decoy the enemy. The British were thus induced 
to believe, that a descent would be made from that point; 
and that an attack would immediately be made upon Mai 
den; which ought to have been done before this time. 
They accordingly dreAV all their forces to that place. 
Next morning the army marched about a mile above 


Detroit, where boats had been taken in the night. The 
regiments of Colonels Miller and Cass embarked at once, 
and in fifteen minutes landed on the Canada shore with 
out opposition. General Hull was among the last fco 
embark, and as his boat reached the shore, he was heard 
to exclaim, "The critical moment draws near!" The 
American flag was unfurled, and the Huzzas of the front, 
were ansAvered by the rear, and the citizens of Detroit. An 
encampment was formed in the farm of Colonel Baubee, a 
British officer; the quarters of the general being fixed in a 
brick house near the centre of the camp, and not far from 
the bank of the river. On the same day the general issued 
his famous proclamation, as follows : 

"By WILLIAM HULL, Brigadier General, command 
ing the American Northwestern Army. 

"Inhabitants of Canada! After thirty years of peace 
and prosperity, the United States have been driven to arms. 
The injuries and aggression, the insults and indignities 
of Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative 
but manly resistance or unconditional submission. The 
army under my command has invaded your country, and 
the standard of the union now waves over the Territory 
of Canada. To the peaceable, unoffending inhabitants, It- 
brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find 
enemies, not to make them. I come to protect, not injure 
you separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wil 
derness from Great Britain, you have no participation in 
her councils, no interest in her conduct. You have felt 
her tyranny; you have seen her injustice; but I do not ask 
you to avenge the one or to redress the other. The United 
States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security, 
consistent with their rights or your expectations. I tender 
you the invaluable blessings of civil, political and religious 
liberty, and their necessary results, individual and general 
prosperity that liberty which gave decision to our coun 
sels, and energy to our conduct, in a struggle for independ 
ence; and which conducted us safely and triumphantly 


through the stormy period of the Revolution that liberty 
which has raised us to an elevated rank among the nations 
of the world ; and which has afforded us a greater measure 
of peace and security, of wealth and improvement, than 
ever fell to the lot of any other people. 

"In the name of my country, and by the authority of 
my government, I promise you protection to your persons, 
property and rights. Remain at your homes; pursue your 
peaceful and customary avocations; raise not your hands 
against your brethren. Many of your fathers fought for 
the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being chil 
dren, therefore, of the same family with us, and heirs to 
the same heritage, the arrival of an army of friends, must 
be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be 
emancipated from tyranny and oppression, and restored 
to the dignified station of freedinen. Had I any doubt of 
eventual success, I might ask your assistance ; but I do not ; 
I come prepared for every contingency. I have a force, 
which will look down all opposition ; and that force is but 
the vanguard of a much greater! If contrary to your 
own interests and the just epectation of my country, you 
should take part in the approaching contest, you will be 
considered and treated as enemies, and the horrors and 
calamities of war will stalk before you. If the barbarous 
and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the 
savages are let loose to murder our citizens, and butcher 
our women and children, this war will be a war of exter 
mination. The first stroke of the tomahawk, that first 
attempt with the scalping knife, will be the signal for one 
indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white man found 
fighting by the side of an Indian will be taken prisoner. 
Instant destruction will be his lot. If the dictates of rea 
son, duty, justice and humanity cannot prevent the employ 
ment of a force which respects no rights or knows no 
wrongs, it will be prevented by a severe and relentless sys 
tem of retaliation. I doubt not your courage and firmness ; 
I will not doubt your attachment to liberty. If you tender 
your services voluntarily, they will be accepted readily. 
The United States offers you peace, liberty, and security; 
your choice lies between these and war. Choose, then, but 


choose wisely and may He who knows the justice of our 
cause, and who holds in His hands the fate of nations, 
guide you to a result the most compatible with your rights 
and your interests. 

By the general, 

A. F. Hull, Captain 13th U. S. Regiment and aide. 
Sandwich, July 12, 1812. 

This proclamation had a tendency to recall the greater 
part of the inhabitants of Sandwich and the adjacent 
country to their dwellings. They had fled to the woods 
on the approach of the Americans, as if an army of canni 
bals had invaded their country. The British officers had 
used every means to induce the people to believe, that the 
Americans were worse than savages. 

The Territory of Upper Canada, which was thus invaded 
by General Hull, is a very extensive country. From south 
east to north west it is more than 1,000 miles long ; and from 
Lake Erie northward it is upwards of 500 miles across, 
but in general its breadth is less than 300 miles. The 
population in 1806 was estimated at 80,000. 

On the 13th, Captain Ulry with 40 men was sent down 
towards Maiden to reconnoitre. At a bridge over Turkey 
creek, about 9 miles from camp, he discovered w^here a 
party of nearly 200 Indians had been lying in ambush to 
cut off any detachment, that might cross the bridge, which 
had been partly destroyed. A Canadian farmer informed 
the Captain, that there were a great many Indians in the 
neighborhood; and not considering it prudent to risk a 
battle with superior numbers he returned to camp. This 
information and an alarm, which occurred at night in the 
camp, induced the general next day to fortify his cainp 
with a breastwork, except the side next the river which 
was defended by cannon. 


On the 14th a detachment from Captain Sloan s cavalry 
was sent up the river to reconnoitre. At 8 :00 o clock in 
the evening two of them returned with information, that a 
body of Indians had gone up the river about sunset. Col 
onel M Arthur was ordered to pursue them with 100 men 
from his own regiment, and a rifle corps from Colonel 
Findley s. At half after 9:00, he marched without blank 
ets or provisions, accompanied by the reconnoitering party, 
which in the meantime had returned. They went but 8 
miles that night, expecting to overtake the Indians early 
next morning in a wood before them. They did not, how 
ever, come up with the Indians, till they had reached 
Ruskin river, about twenty-four miles above Sandwich; 
and here the savages received information of their approach 
soon enough to escape into the woods, in which the mounted 
men could not pursue them for logs and brush. 

Captain Smith, of the Detroit dragoons, now overtook 
them, with orders for the party to go on to the river 
Thames or Trench, to procure provisions. Having reached 
that river, they encamped about half a mile from the 
mouth, opposite the house of Mr. Isaac Hull, a nephew of 
the general s, where a corporal and six militia men of the 
enemy were stationed as a guard to the family. The 
colonel disarmed them and sent them home on parole. 
Next day they marched some distance up the river, and 
on their return collected all the boats they could find, in 
which they brought off nearly two hundred barrels of flour, 
400 blankets, a number of guns, and a considerable quan 
tity of military stores, most of which was public property, 
but the colonel gave receipts for all, as if it had been 
private property, and paid for the provisions they con 
sumed out of his own funds. They arrived at camp on 
the evening of the 17th, having penetrated upwards of 


sixty miles into the province unmolested, the inhabitants 
having received them in a friendly manner. 

Deserters from Maiden, and inhabitants of the country, 
now came into the camp daily to obtain protection from 
the American commander, many of whom were known to 
return immediately to the fort with all the information 
they could collect. On the 16th, Colonel Cass and Lieut. - 
Col. Miller were sent down towards Maiden with a de 
tachment, the object and the result of which will be under 
stood from the following report of Colonel Cass : 

"Sir In conformity with your instructions, I pro 
ceeded with a detachment of 280 men to reconnoitre the 
enemy s advanced posts. We found them in possession of 
a bridge over the Aux Kanards river, at the distance of 
4 miles from Maiden. After examining their position I 
left one company of riflemen, to conceal themselves near 
the bridge, and upon our appearance on the opposite side 
of the river, to commence firing upon the enemy. I then 
proceeded with the remainder of the detachment about 
five miles up, to a ford across the Kanards, and down on 
the southern bank of the river. About sunset we arrived 
in sight of the enemy. Being entirely destitute of guides, 
we marched too close to the bank of the river, and found 
our progress checked by a creek which was impassible. 
We were then compelled to march a mile up the creek in 
order to effect a passage. This gave the enemy time to 
make his arrangements and prepare for defense. On com 
ing down the creek, we found them formed. They com 
menced a distant fire of musqetry. The riflemen of our 
detachment were formed upon the wings, and the two com 
panies of infantry in the center. The men moved on with 
great spirit and alacrity. After the first discharge the 
British retreated. We continued advancing. Three times 
they formed and as often retreated. We drove them about 
half a mile, when it became so dark that we were obliged 
to relinquish the pursuit. Two privates of the 41st reg 
iment were wounded and taken prisoners. We learned from 
deserters, that nine or ten were wounded, and some killed. 


We could gain no certain information of the number op 
posed to us. It consisted of a considerable detachment 
from the 41st regiment, some militia, and a body of In 
dians. The guard at the bridge consisted of 50 men. Our 
riflemen stationed at the bridge, on this side the Kanards, 
discovered the enemy reinforcing the whole afternoon. 
There is no doubt but their numbers exceeded ours. Lieut. 
Colonel Miller conducted himself in a most spirited and 
able manner. I have every reason to be satisfied with the 
conduct of the whole detachment." 

Next morning Captain Brown of the 4th United States 
regiment went down to Maiden, without the knowledge of 
Colonel Cass; but there is no doubt of his mission being 
known to General Hull ; the object of it has never yet been 
developed. Presently a reinforcement of our troops 
arrived, consisting of the balance of the 4th regiment, and 
a piece of artillery under the command of Lieutenant 
Eastman. A council of officers was now convened, a 
majority of whom insisted on leaving the bridge. Colonel 
Cass and Captain Snelling, insisted on holding it, as it 
would be of the utmost importance in inarching the army 
to Maiden. Their opinion being overruled, and no order 
to hold the bridge being received from the general, the 
whole detachment marched back to camp. The abandon 
ment of this bridge, Avhich had been gained so easy, and 
which in the possession of the enemy would be the chief 
obstruction to the advance of the army, was a most fatal 
error. It was sufficient itself to develop the character 
of the general; and I can scarcely restrain my indigna 
tion sufficiently while writing, to mention the event in de 
liberate terms. The officers from this occurrence began 
to distrust the views of the general, and their opinion of 
his abilities began to dwindle into contempt. It was evi 
dent to every person, that the possession of the bridge 
was important to the success of the enterprise; and had 


the army marched immediately to Maiden, that fortress 
must have fallen an easy conquest. The command of the 
river, and security to the upper country, would have been 
the consequences. Colonel Cass orders were, to recon 
noitre the advance posts of the enemy, but not to hold 
any position he might conquer. 

In the evening a report prevailed, that the Queen Char 
lotte was sailing up the straits, and committing depreda 
tions on the American side ; and that the British had again 
occupied the bridge. Colonel Findley in consequence went 
down to the bridge with a small party to reconnoitre. He 
found it torn up, and a breastwork of timber erected on the 
south side, to defend the pass. The Queen Charlotte also 
occupied a station convenient to aid in its defense. Col 
onel Findley having returned next day, another small party 
under Captain Snelling, went down in the evening as a 
corps of observation. General Hull for his part staid close 
in his quarters at Sandwich; but to induce his officers to 
believe, that he really intended to attack Maiden, he issued 
the following general order, by way of retaliation for the 
capture of his baggage; the execution of it would have 
placed our army on a level with the disgraceful conduct 
of the British. 

"Whereas the private property, consisting principally 
of the necessary clothing of the officers and soldiers of 
this army, has been seized by the British force, and is 
detained at Maiden or its dependencies, notwithstanding 
application has been made for the restitution of it. In 
order to remunerate those officers and soldiers who have 
suffered, the general directs that all personal property of 
officers now serving in the British army, at the aforesaid 
post, shall be taken under special orders from the general, 
and delivered to the quartermaster general for safe keep 
ing, until the orders of the government are known on the 
subject. One hundred and fifty men properly officered, 


will be detached for command to-morrow morning at 5 :00 
o clock from Colonel M Arthur s regiment. Colonel M Ar 
thur will command and will call at headquarters for 

In pursuance of this order, Colonel M Arthur was sent 
down to relieve Captain Snelling, who was found at the 
Petit Cote settlement about a mile above the bridge. From 
this place to the bridge, the country is a dry, level prairie. 
About 300 yards from the Kanards, there is a small ridge 
across the road about 8 feet high, which is covered towards 
the west with small oak and hazle bushes. From the ridge 
to the river the prairie is somewhat marshy and covered 
with long grass. The river is about 25 yards wide and 
very deep, and on the south side a thick wood commences 
at a short distance from the bridge. Colonel M Arthur 
was instructed to ascertain the situation of the bridge and 
the position of the Queen Charlotte; but not to go within 
the reach of her guns, nor attempt to pass the bridge. This 
information the general had already received from the 
other parties repeatedly, and, of course, was merely amus 
ing his men and spending time by this conduct. 

Colonel M Arthur left his men at the Petit Cote settle 
ment, and went with Adjutant Put huff and a few riflemen 
to the top of the ridge to reconnoitre. He found the plank 
had been torn off the bridge, and that a battery had been 
erected at the south end of it, near which there were about 
60 regulars, 450 Canadian militia, 25 dragoons, and 50 
Indians. Some firing occurred between the riflemen and 
the Indians, some of whom came over the bridge; and, as 
the colonel rode down to view the Queen Charlotte, he was 
fired on by a gun boat which accompanied her, and which 
had approached him unperceived, under the bank of the 
river. They now all retreated uninjured to the main de 
tachment; but the colonel not yet being satisfied, returned 


to the ridge again with a few others, to make further ob 
servations. They \vere there fired on again by some 
Indians who in the meantime had concealed themselves in 
the brushwood. The whole detachment immediately came 
up to their relief, and drove the Indians back over the 
bridge; but as they retired Tecumseh followed them Avith 
a considerable force, when a halt was called and another 
skirmish ensued. Ammunition becoming scarce, the col 
onel sent an express to camp to inform the general of all 
the circumstances; and, at the same time concluded to re 
turn to camp with the detachment. When the express 
arrived, Colonel Cass pushed down with 150 men, and a 
six pounder, to reinforce AF Arthur. About sunset they 
met at Turkey Creek bridge, nine miles from camp, and 
immediately returned to the Petit Cote settlement where 
they encamped for the night. Next morning on recon- 
noitering the enemy, he was found to be considerably rein 
forced both in men and artillery. At the desire of Colonel 
Cass, the whole detachment marched down near the bridge, 
and with the six pounder exchanged a few shot with the 
battery, The w r hole detachment then marched back to 
camp, hungry and fatigued, without having effected any 
thing valuable. 

TECUMSEH, who was very conspicuous among the 
Indians for his influence, and for his bravery and skill in 
Indian warfare, was about this time said to be appointed 
a brigadier general by the British. 

The whole army now began to lose all confidence in 
General Hull. His sending detachments to contend for the 
bridge, and when it was taken, his failing to hold it, or to 
march immediately to Maiden, and, afterwards sending 
party after party to reconnoitre and skirmish, were strong, 
irresistible proofs of incapacity or of treachery, which 
must have convinced even the British themselves, that he 


either did not intend to attack their fort, or that he had 
neither courage nor skill to execute such an enterprise. 
The distrust of the army was still more confirmed, by his 
leaving them and going over to Detroit on the 21st of July, 
where he remained till the 26th under a variety of frivo 
lous pretexts. While he was thus wasting his time and 
resources, the government entertained the most favorable 
opinion of his firmness and ability. His proclamation 
was read throughout the union, and highly applauded as 
the production of superior talents ; and great expectations 
were formed by an admiring and sanguine people. A peace 
of nearly thirty years duration, under a popular, delibera 
tive form of government, had accustomed the people to 
judge the abilities of public men, by the fine things they 
were able to say; and hence men the best qualified to act, 
were overlooked and neglected for those who were only 
qualified to speak and write. 

The British forces at Maiden were in the meantime 
daily augmented; and the greatest exertions were made 
night and day to strengthen that post by entrenchments 
and picketing. 

By the absence of General Hull at Detroit, the com 
mand devolved on Colonel M Arthur, who immediately 
dispatched Captain M Cullough, with the rangers and 
spies, to examine wh ether a road could not be made, to 
cross the Kanards above the bridge, so as to avoid the 
battery, and the guns of the Queen Charlotte. The captain 
reported, that a road for the artillery was impracticable, 
on account of swamps and morasses. 

It being reported, that the Indians came above the Aux 
Kanards in considerable numbers, Colonel M Arthur sent 
Major Denny with three companies of militia, making 117 
men, to oppose them. He marched on the night of the 24th 
with instructions to form an ambuscade at some place 


where the Indians were expected to pass, and thus cut them 
off, unless they were too powerful; in which case he was 
to be situated so as to have a retreat in his power. He 
formed an ambuscade next morning in the Petit Cote set 
tlement, and caught a Frenchman, with his three sons, who- 
said he was going to reap his harvest. He proved to be 
the captain of a company of militia, then in service at Mai 
den, from which place he had been sent out as a spy. 
Major Denny then marched his party in view of the enemy, 
and having again retired, and stopped about noon to rest ii* 
the shade, a small party of Indians came along very near 
his men. Having discovered them, he ordered his men to 
charge and fire well; which they executed so as to kill 
many of the Indians. The remainder were pursued by 
some of the men, about a half a mile, before they returned. 
The fugitives meeting with a strong reinforcement, re 
turned also to renew the contest. Major Denny endeav 
ored to gain an advantageous position in a point of woods, 
but was anticipated by the Indians ; and after a short con 
flict, a part of his line gave way, and he was obliged to 
retreat in confusion. He was pursued about two miles 
and a half by the Indians, till they had reached near 
Turkey creek bridge. The major endeavored in vain to 
rally his men before they crossed the bridge and met Gen 
eral Lucas with a reinforcement. He lost but six killed, 
and two wounded ; the loss of the British and Indians was 
at least double that number. 

Reports of an unfavorable nature, respecting the con 
duct of Major Denny in this affair, being circulated in the 
camp, he requested a court of inquiry, which was granted 
by Colonel M Arthur. After full investigation he was 
honorably acquitted; and the sentence of the court was 
approved by General Hull. 


On the 28th of July, intelligence was received in camp, 
that Fort Macinaw had surrendered on the 17th. This 
event arrested all the offensive operations of General Hull 
in Upper Canada, nothing more being done by the army 
after this date, except the building of an inconsiderable 
fort, in a disadvantageous place about half a mile below 
camp, around the house of Mr. Gowies. The surrender of 
Mackinaw alarmed General Hull excessively. He declared, 
"The whole northern hordes of Indians will be let loose 
upon us." His anticipations no doubt Avere just; the loss 
of that fort must have injured our cause very much among 
the savages; and it is to be recorded with regret, that the. 
government itself neglected a post so important, in not 
ordering more men for its defense ; while the officer imme 
diately in command was perhaps in some degree culpable, 
in not placing it in the most defensible condition; and 
General Hull still more so, in neglecting to apprise him 
of the declaration of war. The general government was 
certainly well acquainted with the situation and import 
ance of the place. The legislature of Kentucky had partic 
ularly called the attention of the war department to this 
point. In its neglected state, with only a lieutenant to 
defend it, the enemy found it an easy conquest. The fol 
lowing is the report of Lieut. P. Hanks, who was its com 
mander, to General Hull, after his arrival at Detroit, 
August 4th. 

"Sir I take the earliest opportunity to acquaint your 
excellency, witli the surrender of the garrison of Macinaw, 
under my command, ,to his Britannic Majesty s forces, 
under the command of Captain Roberts, on the 17th of 
July, the particulars of which are as follows : On the 16th 
I was informed by the Indian interpreter, that he had dis 
covered from an Indian, that the several nations of In 
dians, then at St. Josephs (a British garrison distant 


about 40 miles) intended to make an immediate attack 
on Macinaw. I was inclined from the coolness I had dis 
covered in some of the principal chiefs of the Ottawa and 
Chippewa nations, who had but a few days before professed 
the greatest friendship for the United States, to place con 
fidence in this report. I immediately called a meeting of 
the American gentlemen at that time on the Island, in 
which it was thought proper to dispatch a confidential per 
son to St. Josephs, to watch the motions of the Indians. 
Captain Daurman, of the militia was thought the most 
suitable person for this service. He embarked about sun 
set, and met the British forces within ten or fifteen miles 
of the island, by whom he was made a prisoner, and put on 
his parole of honor. He was landed on the island at day 
break, with positive instructions to give me no intelli 
gence whatever. He was also instructed to. take the in 
habitants of the village indiscriminately to a place on the 
west side of the island, where their persons an d property 
would be protected by a British guard ; but should they go 
to the fort, they would be subject to a general massacre by 
the savages, which would be inevitable if the garrison fired 
a gun. This information I received from Doctor Day, who 
was passing through the village, when every person was 
flying for refuge to the enemy. Immediately on being in 
formed of the approach of the enemy, I placed ammunition, 
etc., in the block houses, and made every preparation for 
action. About nine o clock I could discover that the enemy 
were in possession of the heights that commanded the fort ; 
with one piece of artillery directed to the most defenseless 
part of the garrison. The Indians were to be seen at this 
time in great numbers in the edge of the woods. At half 
past eleven, the enemy sent in a fla of truce, demanding 
the surrender of the fort and island to his Britannic 
Majesty s forces. This sir, was the first intimation I had 
of the declaration of war. I, however, had anticipated it, 
and was as well prepared to meet such an event, as I pos 
sibly could have been with the force under my command, 
amounting to 57 effective men, including officers. The 
American gentlemen who were prisoners were permitted to 
accompany the flag. From them I ascertained the strength 


of the enemy to be from 900 to 1,000 men, consisting of reg 
ular troops, Canadians, and savages; that they had two 
pieces of artillery, and were provided with ladders and 
ropes for the purpose of scaling the works if necessary. 
After I had obtained this information, I consulted my offi 
cers, and also the American gentlemen present ; the result 
of which was, that it was impossible for the garrison to 
hold out against such superior force. In this opinion I 
fully concurred, from a conviction that it was the only 
measure that could prevent a general massacre. The fort 
and garrison were accordingly surrendered." 

The report concluded with requesting a court of in 
quiry. By the articles of capitulation the garrison was to 
march out with the honors of war, and to be paroled and 
conveyed to the United States; private property was to be 
held sacred; and all citizens, who would not take the oath 
of allegiance to the British government, were to depart 
within a month. The army to which Lieutenant Hanks 
surrendered, was ascertained after the capitulation, to con 
sist of 46 regulars, 260 Canadian militia, and 715 Indians, 
making an army of more than a thousand men. 

Early in August, an express arrived at the army of 
General Hull, with information that Captain Henry Brush, 
with a company of volunteers, was near the river Raisin 
with provisions for the army ; and that he wanted an escort, 
as it was ascertained that the British and Indians had 
crossed on the American side, with a view to intercept 
the mail and convoys of provisions. The colonels of the 
Ohio militia applied to General Hull for leave to take a 
detachment, and open the communication with Captain 
Brush, and conduct the provisions in safety to Detroit; 
but the general would not grant their request, and seemed 
indifferent about the fate of Captain Brush and his pro 
visions. At length, however, he consented, that Major 
Vanhorne might go as an escort to the mail and join Cap- 


tain Brush at the river Raisin. The major crossed the 
Detroit river on the 4th of August, and marched that even 
ing as far as the river De Corce. Here they lay on their 
arms in the bushes till morning, when they marched again, 
with four spies before them. Having passed the Maguaga 
village, Captain McCullough of the spies unfortunately 
missed his way, and as he was passing round a cornfield, 
was fired on by ten or twelve Indians, who were lying in 
ambush. He fell, and was tomahawked and scalped by the 
savages. His loss was severely felt by the army, for he was 
brave, intrepid and skillful in the department of spies. 

Soon after the occurrence, a number of mounted militia, 
and some gentlemen who wished to go to the river Raisin, 
joined the detachment; and a Frenchman informed Major 
Vanhorne, that three or four hundred Indians and some 
British were lying in ambush near Brownstown, for the 
purpose of intercepting his party. Accustomed to hear 
false reports from the French he did not sufficiently re 
spect this information; but marched on with his front 
guard of 24 men divided into two columns, each preceded 
by three dragoons, and the main party in the same order, 
the mail with an escort of horsemen being placed in the 
center. Where the ground would permit, the columns 
marched a hundred yards apart. Having arrived near 
Brownstown, the road passes through a narrow prairie, 
skirted by thick woods, with the creek, which runs by 
Brownstown, on the right. The woods on the creek come 
to a point towards the town, through which point the road 
passes to the ford. On the left are several small Indian 
cornfields, and thickets of thorn bushes ; so that the columns 
of the party had to approach near each other at the creek. 
As they entered the open ground of the town, the Indians 
commenced a heavy fire on the right column from the op 
posite side of the creek, and on the left from the bushes on 


that side. The suddenness of the attack threw the troops 
into some confusion, and the major, apprehensive that he 
would be surrounded, immediately ordered a retreat. The 
detachment was halted several times, and fired on the 
enemy who pursued them some distance. The retreat was 
continued to the river De Corce seventeen killed and sev 
eral wounded being left behind. Among the killed were 
Captains ITlry, Gilchrist, Boersler, Lieutenant Pents and 
Ensign Rubey. The loss of so many officers was caused by 
their attempting to rally their men. The loss of the enemy 
was nearly as great as ours. 

On this occasion the force of the enemy was greatly 
exaggerated, as it was in many other instances. Major 
Vanhorne, though a gentleman and a soldier, was certainly 
not entitled to the praise bestowed upon him by some of his 
countrymen. Being Avarned of his danger, he should have 
taken care to prevent a surprise; and had he done so, he 
would doubtless have been victorious. The enemy had a 
great advantage in the ground, but in point of numbers he 
was not superior. I do not wish to detract from the real 
merits of Major Vanhorne, but at Detroit, in October, 1813, 
I was informed by an American gentleman of high stand 
ing, who had made particular inquiry, that the force of the 
enemy in this case did not exceed forty British and seventy 
Indians; and this statement is corroborated by the recollec 
tion, that the main army w r as still in Canada, and the Brit 
ish being in daily expectation of an attack on Maiden, 
would not send a large detachment to the American side. 
The practice, so common among the officers in Hull s army, 
of estimating extravagantly the numbers of British and 
Indians opposed to them in skirmishes, was calculated to 
have an injurious effect on our affairs. It had a tendency 
to discourage their men, to cover their own mismanage- 


meiit, and to alarm the general, whose susceptibility of 
fear, did not require any extraordinary impressions. 

On the 6th the colonels again solicited leave from the 
general, to march a detachment of 500 men to Brownstown, 
for the purpose of burying the dead and attempting again 
to open a communication with Captain Brush, who had 
arrived at the river Raisin with the provisions. The gen 
eral would not permit more than 100 men to go, which was 
entirely too few, considering the late defeat and the pre 
vailing opinion of the enemies numbers. The project was, 
therefore, abandoned for the want of men. 

A council being convened at headquarters, consisting of 
the field officers, with Captain Dyson and Lieutenant East 
man of the artillery, it was agreed by all except the two 
last, to make an immediate attack upon Maiden. In con 
sequence of this decision the following general order was 
issued : 

"Sandwich, August 7, 1812. 

"Doctor Edwards will take charge of the medical and 
surgical departments until further orders, and will immed 
iately make every preparation to take the field against the 
enemy. All the tents and baggage not necessary will be 
immediately sent to Detroit. The boats not necessary for 
the movement of the army will be sent to Detroit, An 
officer and 25 convalescents will be left at the fort at 
Gowies, with a boat sufficient to carry them across the river 
if necessary. All the artillery not taken by the army will 
be sent immediately to Detroit. The army will take seven 
days provisions. Three days provisions will be drawn 
to-morrow morning and will be cooked, the residue will be 
taken in wagons. Pork will be drawn for the meat part of 
the ration. One hundred axes, fifty spades, and twenty 
pickaxes will be taken for the army; and a raft of timber 
and plank suitable for bridges, will be prepared and floated 
down with the batteries. Only one day s whiskey will be 
drawn each day, and twelve barrels will be taken in wagons. 


All the artificers, and all men on any kind of extra duty, 
will immediately join their regiments. 

(Signed) Wm. Hull, Brig. Gen., Com." 

On the receipt of this order, the army in the hope of 
making an immediate attack upon Maiden, were animated 
with new life and activity. Every preparation was indus 
triously made, and every countenance was bright with joy. 
But how shall I name with deliberation the order which 
followed! The whole army was immediately ordered to 
recross to Detroit and encamp in the rear of the fort, and 
thus relinquish all offensive operations in Canada! With 
what deep contempt was this order heard ; with what sullen 
murmuring was it executed ! A few weeks before, the army 
had landed triumphantly in the enemy s country ; and now, 
without any ostensible cause, was ordered to return in the 
most disgraceful manner. What feelings of indignation 
filled every true American bosom; and what anguish was 
felt by a number of the poor inhabitants, who, confiding 
in General Hull s promises of protection, had made them 
selves obnoxious to the vengeance of their own government ! 

The whole army now recrossed the river in sullen pro 
cession and indignant contempt, and encamped once more 
behind Fort Detroit. Major Denny was left in the stock 
ade work at Gowies, with a hundred and thirty convales 
cents, and Lieutenant Anderson s corps of artillerists. He 
was ridiculously instructed "to hold possession of this part 
of Upper Canada, and afford all possible protection to the 
well disposed inhabitants." He was to defend the post to 
the last extremity against musquetry ; but if overpowered 
by artillery he was authorized to retreat. 

On the same day after the army had recrossed, Colonel 
Miller, with Majors Vanhorne and Morrison of the Ohio 
volunteers, was sent with a detachment to make another 
attempt to open the communication with Captain Brush at 


the river Raisin. The only account of their operations 
Avhieh has been published, is that by General Hull, which 
follows : 

"The main body of the army having recrossed the river 
Detroit, on the night and morning of the 8th of August, six 
hundred men were immediately detached under the com 
mand of Lieut. Col. Miller, to open the communication with 
the river Raisin and protect the provisions. This detach 
ment consisted of the 4th U. S. regiment and two small de 
tachments under the command of Lieutenant Stansbury 
and Ensign M Abe, of the 1st regiment; detachments from 
the Ohio and Michigan volunteers; a corps of artillerists 
with one six pounder, and a howitzer under the command 
of Lieutenant Eastman; a part of Captain Smith s and 
Sloan s cavalry, commanded by Captain Sloan, of the Ohio 
volunteers. Lieut. Col. Miller marched from Detroit on 
the afternoon of the 8th of August, and on the 9th in the 
afternoon about 4 o clock, the front guard commanded by 
Captain Snelling of the 4th U. S. regiment, was fired on by 
an extensive line of British and Indians, about two miles 
below Maguaga village, where there had been a small open 
ing on the bank of Detroit river, surrounded with thick 
brush and white oak timber, and about 14 miles from 
Detroit. At this time the main body was marching in two 
lines, and Captain Snelling maintained his position in a 
most gallant manner, under a very heavy fire, until the line 
was formed and advanced to the ground he occupied, w T hen 
the whole, except the rear guard was brought into actioii. 
The enemy were formed behind a temporary breastwork 
of logs, with the Indians extending in a thick woods on 
their left. Lieut. Col. Miller ordered his whole line to ad 
vance, and when within a small distance of the enemy, made 
a general fire upon them, and immediately followed it up 
with charged bayonets, when the whole British line and 
Indians commenced a retreat. They were pursued in a 
most vigorous manner about two miles, and the pursuit 
only discontinued on account of the fatigue of the men, the 
approach of evening, and the necessity of returning to take 
care of the wounded. The judicious arrangements made 


by Lieut. Col. Miller, and the gallant manner in which 
they were executed, justly entitles him to the highest honor. 
From the moment the line commenced the fire, it contin 
ually moved on, and the enemy maintained their position 
until forced at the point of the bayonet. The Indians on 
the left under the command of Tecumseh fought with great 
obstinacy, but were continually forced, and compelled to 
retreat, The victory was complete in every part of the 
line; but the success would have been more brilliant, had 
the cavalry charged the enemy on their retreat, when a 
most favorable opportunity presented. Although orders 
were given for that purpose, unfortunately they were not 
executed. Majors Vanhorne and Morrison were associated 
with Colonel Miller as field officers in this command, and 
were highly distinguished by their exertions in forming the 
line, and the firm intrepid manner they led their respective 
commands to action." 

At the commencement Colonel Miller was thrown from 
his horse, and remained on foot through the rest of the 
battle; of course the most active part of the command de 
volved on Majors Vanhorne and Morrison, who certainly 
deserve great credit for their conduct in this affair. The 
officers and men generally behaved very well, with the ex 
ception only of Captain Sloan of the cavalry, and Capt. A. 
F. Hull. The 4th regiment lost ten killed and 32 wounded ; 
the Ohio and Michigan militia, 8 killed and 28 wounded. 

The British were commanded by Major Muir of the 41st 
regiment. His force comprised about four hundred regu 
lars and Canadian militia, with a large body of Indians 
under Tecumseh. Forty Indians were found dead on the 
field; fifteen regulars were killed and wounded, and 4 taken 
prisoners; the loss of the Canadian militia and volunteers, 
was never ascertained, but as they were in the hottest part 
of the action, it must have been great. Muir and Tecumseh 
were both wounded. 


Colonel Miller sent an express to General Hull with 
information of his success, and a request for a supply of 
provisions. About ten o clock at night, Colonel M Arthur 
was ordered, to take a hundred men from his regiment, and 
proceed down the river in boats, with 600 rations for Col 
onel Miller s detachment, and to bring up the wounded to 
Detroit. Colonel M Arthur immediately applied to David 
Baird, the contractor, who was strongly suspected of being 
a British agent in disguise, but could not prevail on him to 
issue the rations before 2 :00 o clock in the morning. As 
soon as he received them, he embarked in nine boats, and 
arrived safe at Colonel Miller s encampment two miles 
above Brownstown. He had to pass the Queen Charlotte 
and brig Hunter in the river, but in consequence of a heavy 
rain they did not perceive him. As soon as he could deliver 
the provisions and place the wounded in his boats, he com 
menced his return in obedience to his orders; but having 
permitted as many of his men as desired, to join Colonel 
Miller, his boats were so poorly manned that he had to row 
one himself, while it was steered by a wounded soldier. He 
had but just left the camp, which was not far below the 
head of the island between Maiden and Brownstown, when 
signal guns were fired at the former place, and answered 
by the Queen Charlotte and Hunter. When the boats ar 
rived near the head of the island, those vessels were seen 
sailing up, on the other side of the river. The men immed 
iately put to shore, and all who were able ran across a 
marsh into the woods, leaving the wounded in the boats. 
But the energy of the colonel saved them from the enemy ; 
he followed his men to the woods, and with some difficulty 
prevailed on them to return to their duty. Having a bar 
rel of whiskey on board, he invited them to fill their can 
teens, while he told them the story of the Indian, who stuck 
to his bottle of rum, while descending the falls of Niagara. 


They now proceeded up to a place, where the woods were 
nearer to the river, and carried out the wounded, the col 
onel encouraging the men by his own exertions. The brig 
Hunter, in the meantime, had anchored above the head of 
the island, to prevent the boats from ascending the river. 
An express was immediately sent to Detroit, to inform the 
general of their situation, and for wagons to carry up the 
wounded. The colonel, however, having forseen the diffi 
culties of the voyage, had previously requested Colonel 
Godfrey and Captains Sibhy and Knaggs of the Michigan 
militia, to meet him with wagons. They had complied, 
and the express soon returned with the pleasing intelli 
gence of their approach. The nearest they could come, was 
a quarter of a mile above the boats on the bank of the river, 
which rendered it necessary to re-embark the wounded and 
carry them up in boats. This was done under a constant, 
but wholly ineffectual fire from the brig Hunter, which lay 
opposite the wagons. Colonel Cass who was always ready 
for any service, met them with a detachment, and has 
tened down to secure the boats; but the enemy had taken 
them before he could arrive. 

Colonel Miller had intended to inarch on to the river 
Raisin, as soon as he was supplied and relieved of the 
wounded; but he was prevented by indisposition; and an 
express was sent to General Hull with this information, 
and with a request for more provisions. This was a criti 
cal moment in the enterprise. It is plain, that Colonel 
Miller should have marched on, even if it had been neces 
sary to carry him in a litter ; for he was not more than 22 
miles from Captain Brush, who had 150 men, and plenty 
of provisions. If he had been too sick to proceed in any 
manner, one of the other colonels should have been sent in 
his place, without waiting for more supplies from Detroit. 
The detachment having beaten the enemy, could have 


reached the river Raisin with safety in a day, and without 
suffering much for provisions. When Colonel Cass, sev 
eral miles below the river De Corce, was informed of Col 
onel Miller s situation, he addressed this laconic note to 
General Hull : "Sir, Colonel Miller is sick, may I relieve 
him? L. Cass." No answer being given to this note, he 
returned to Detroit; and Colonel Miller had called a coun 
cil of his officers to deliberate on the course he should take, 
when an express arrived from the general Avith positive 
orders for the detachment to return to Detroit. Thus the 
favorable moment for opening the communication with the 
river Raisin, was lost for the want of a little energy and 
decision. The enterprise was made to miscarry, after the 
principal difficulties to be apprehended, had actually been 
surmounted. The general is the soul of an army, and if 
he had not the requisite qualifications, no matter what 
may be the talents of his officers they will do but little 
good. The responsibility of a military commander, like 
his power, is unlimited there is no legal excuse for his 
failures but impossibility. 

Prom the manner in which our flags had been treated 
by the enemy, it was expected, that no more would be sent; 
but to the surprise of the whole army, on the 12th a boat 
was seen descending with a white flag from Detroit to 
Sandwich, where it was known that General Brock had 
arrived with the 41st regiment. Colonels M Arthur, Cass, 
and Findley, with some warmth and indignation, immed 
iately repaired to headquarters, and inquired of the gen 
eral why a flag of truce had been sent to Sandwich. The 
general denied having any knowledge of it; and the col 
onels then expressed their determination to inquire into the 
affair, and have the offender punished. The general seemed 
to be somewhat disconcerted, and observed that he would 
inquire of Captain Hickman, his volunteer aide, whether he 


had authorized any person to take a flag to the enemy s 
camp. He went to the captain, and after a few minutes 
returned and said, that Captain Hickman had conversed 
with Captain Rough on the subject, but did not wish him 
to consider himself permitted to take a flag, but that the 
captain had probably considered himself authorized. The 
colonels then left their general in disgust, and extended 
their inquiries no farther on the subject, but strongly sus 
pected his fidelity to the country. He had for several days 
been an object of general contempt, having frequently been 
intoxicated, and apparently lost to all sense of humor, and 
even decency. He was sullen in his deportment and wav 
ering in his orders. 

A conversation now took place, between the colonels of 
the Ohio Volunteers and General J. Taylor, of Kentucky, 
respecting the abilities and fidelity of the general. They 
were unanimously of the opinion, that if he continued in 
the command of the army, it would be surrendered to the 
enemy. They came, therefore, to a determination to de 
prive him of the command, and solicited Colonel Miller to 
assume it. He refused, but declared lie would unite with 
them in giving it to M Arthur. A faint hope remaining, 
that they might yet be relieved from the State of Ohio, the 
project was abandoned, and Colonel Cass immediately ad 
dressed the following letter to the governor of Ohio: 

"Detroit, August 12, 1812. 

"Dear Sir From causes not fit to be put on paper, but 
which I trust I shall live to communicate to you, this army 
lias been reduced to a critical and alarming situation. We 
have wholly left the Canadian shore, and have abandoned 
the miserable inhabitants, who depended on our will and 
our power to protect them, to their fate. Unfortunately 
the general and our principal officers could not view our 
situation and our prospects in the same light. That Mai 
den might easily have been reduced, I have no doubt. 


That the army were in force and in spirits enough to have 
done it, no one doubts. But the precious opportunity has 
fled; and, instead of looking back, we must now look for 
ward. The letter from the secretary of war to you, a copy 
of which I have seen, authorizes you to preserve and keep 
open the communication from the State of Ohio to Detroit. 
It is all important that it should be kept open; our very 
existence depends upon it. Our supplies must come from 
our State. This country does not furnish them. In the 
existing state of things, nothing but a large force of 2,000 
men at least, will effect the object. It is the unanimous 
wish of the army, that you should accompany them. Every 
exertion that can, must be made. If this reaches you 
safely by Murray, he will tell you more than I can or ought 
here to insert. I am, etc., "Lewis Cass." 

This letter having been written and shown to the other 
officers, they were induced from the appearance of the 
British in the meantime at Sandwich, to add the following 
endorsement : 

"Since the other side of this letter was written, new 
circumstances have arisen. The British force is opposite, 
and our situation has nearly reached its crisis. Believe 
all the bearer will tell you. Believe it, however, it may 
astonish you; as much as if told by one of us. Even a 
c * * * is talked of by the * * * ! The bearer will sup 
ply the vacancy. On you we depend. 

Signed by 
Cass, Findley, M Arthur, Taylor and E. Brush. 

The intention was, if Governor Meigs could arrive in 
time to relieve them, to divest General Hull of the com 
mand and confer it on the governor, who had the confidence 
of the army. 

Major Denny now evacuated the fortification at Gowies, 
having previously set fire to the works, which unfortunate 
ly communicated to the house and burned it down. On 
the 13th the British were seen marching up from Sandwich 


to a place opposite Fort Detroit, within point-blank shot 
of our batteries ; yet the general would not suffer Lieuten 
ants Dalaby and Anderson to fire on them with our 24 
pounders, and they were permitted unmolested to erect 
their batteries opposite Detroit. 

On the evening of the 14th, a detachment of 300 men, 
was sent under the command to two colonels, M Arthur 
and Cass, to endeavor again by a circuitous route to open 
the communication Avith the river Raisin. Colonel M J Ar 
thur remonstrated against sending them without pro 
visions; upon which the general promised to send provis 
ions after them on pack horses, but he failed in the end to 
do it. This detachment after marching about 24 miles, 
having passed the rivers Rouge and DeCorce some distance, 
got into a marsh and could go no farther without pro- 
visions. Being still a great distance from the river 
Raisin, on account of their circuitous route, a council of 
officers were held, which judged it expedient to return. 
But in the meantime affairs at Detroit had been brought 
to a crisis. 

On the morning of the 15th General Hull pitched his 
marquee in the centre of the camp with red and blue stripes 
painted on its top. This was the first time he had erected 
a tent in camp since the 4th of July. It was remarked 
with astonishment by every person; and about one o clock 
two British officers arrived from Sandwich with a, flag of 
truce, and a letter from General Brock demanding the 
surrender of Fort Detroit to His Britannic Majesty s 
forces. The following is a copy: 

"H. Q. Sandwich, August 15th, 1812. 
"Sir The force at my disposal authorizes me to re 
quire of you the surrender of Fort Detroit, It is far from 
my inclination to join in a war of extermination ; but you 


must be aware, that the numerous body of Indians, who 
have attached themselves to my troops, will be beyond my 
control the moment the contest commences. You will 
find me disposed to enter into such conditions as will sat 
isfy the most scrupulous sense of honor. Lieut. Col. 
M Donnell, and Major Glegg are fully authorized to con 
clude any arrangement that may prevent the unnecessary 
effusion of blood. 

"I have the honor to be your most obedient servant, 

"Isaac Brock, Maj. Gen." 

"His excellency, Brig. Gen. Hull, 
"Commanding at Detroit." 

The British were at this time engaged in pulling down 
a house opposite Detroit, behind which they had erected 
a battery ; and Lieutenants Dalaby and Anderson were bus 
ily engaged in completing a battery on our side. When the 
troops were informed, that the British had demanded a 
surrender of the fort, they laughed at the idea and seemed 
to be inspired with new vigor. The general, himself, 
seemed to be actuated by contending passions. At one 
moment he seemed to be determined to make an obstinate 
defense, and save his army from disgrace and his Terri 
tory from invasion; then again he would discover symp 
toms of the greatest fear and pusillanimity. His conver 
sation with his officers was of the most dispiriting nature, 
exaggerating the force of the enemy, etc. The absence of 
Colonels M 7 Arthur and Cass was deeply deplored by the 
army, and was a cause of increasing the suspicions against 
the general. The threat of the British commander, to let 
loose the Indians to massacre and exterminate the peo 
ple, excited the most indignant contempt towards a nation, 
which pretending to be civilized, could associate with 
savages in a war of the most horrible nature. General 
Hull, after a considerable struggle in his own mind, which 


was observed in the countenance by the British officer, 
at last returned the following reply to the demand they 
had brought: 

"H. Q. Detroit, August 15, 1812. 

"Sir I have received your letter of this date. I have 
no other reply to make, than to inform you that I am 
ready to meet any force which may be at your disposal, 
and any consequences which may result from its execution 
in any way you may think proper to use it. 

"I avail myself of this opportunity to inform you, that 
the flag of truce, under the direction of Captain Brown, 
proceeded contrary to the orders, and without the consent 
of Colonel Cass, who commanded the troops who attacked 
your picket near the river Kanard bridge. I likewise take 
the occasion to inform you, that Gowies house, was set on 
fire contrary to my orders, and it did not take place till af 
ter the evacuation of the fort. From the best information I 
have been able to obtain on the subject, it was set on fire 
by some of the inhabitants on the other side of the river. 
"I am very respectfully your excellency s most obed 
ient servant, 

Wm. Hull, Brig. Gen., 

Commanding N. W. Army of the United States. 
His excellency, Major General Brock, . 

Commanding His Britanic Majesty s forces in 
Upper Canada." 

This letter being written and delivered to the British 
officers, General Hull immediately retired into the fort 
with every appearance of alarm; and no sooner had they 
landed in Sandwich, than the British armed vessels ap 
peared in sight, and the battery on the opposite shore began 
to play upon the fort. The fire was returned from our 
batteries and the fort, and one of the enemy s guns was 
silenced in a few minutes. As soon as the firing com 
menced, all the troops, except Colonel Findley s regiment, 
were crowded into the fort and posts assigned to as many 


as could be employed. Colonel Findley was stationed 
three hundred yards from the fort on the northwest. 

Previous to the opening of the batteries, Brigade 
Major Jessup and Quartermaster Dugan, rode down the 
river to Springwells to view the enemy at Sandwich ; and 
from the position of the Queen Charlotte, they condiid-ed: 
that the enemy intended to effect a landing at that place. 
Having ascertained a position for a battery, whi< ; h ^uld 
be secure from the fire of her guns, the major returned 
to headquarters, and requested that a 24-pounder might 
be sent down to sink that vessel. The general told him, 
that he had consulted his artillery officers, and they were 
of opinion, that a bridge over which it must pass, was not 
strong enough to bear the weight of a 24-pounder. The 
major informed him that there was plenty of timber near 
it, to make it stronger; to which remark the general made 
no reply. Major Jessup then returned to the Springwells, 
where he found Captain Snelling with a few men and a 
brass 6-pounder. Observing that the principal part of 
the British forces were at Sandwich, he returned again 
to General Hull and requested permission to cross the 
river with 150 men, and spike the enemy s cannon on the 
battery opposite Detroit. The general said he could not 
spare that number. He then asked for one hundred, in 
which he was joined by Captain Snelling. The general 
replied "I will think of it." The enemy still kept up a 
constant fire from the battery; from which they did not 
desist until 10 o clock at night; and at daylight next 
morning, the 16th, they commenced again, but their fire had 
very little effect. Our batteries returned it with prompti 
tude till near 11 o clock, having in the meantime silenced 
two of their guns. 

The British had by this time effected a landing at 
Springwells with their whole force, consisting of about 


thirty royal artillerists, 300 regulars, 400 militia, and 
about 600 Indians, with three 6, and two 3-pounders. 
They advanced towards the fort without any opposition, 
the militia and regulars being on the margin of the river, 
and the Indians next the woods on the west of the town. 
When they had arrived within three-quarters of a mile 
from the fort, two 24-pounders loaded with grape shot, 
were levelled at them under the direction of Captain 
Forsythe and Lieutenant Anderson; but just as the artil 
lerists were applying the matches, Captain Dyson the 
senior officer of the artillery, came up and drew his sword, 
and swore that the first man who attempted to fire on the 
enemy* should be cut to pieces. 

General Hull had taken refuge on the east side of the 
fort under the wall, where he was sure the balls of the 
enemy could not hit him yet he seemed to be stupified 
and nearly torpid with fear. A ball from the British 
battery, which now kept up a constant fire, struck in the 
fort and killed Captain Hanks, Lieutenant Sibley, and Doc 
tor Reynolds, and wounded Doctor Blood. Another passed 
through the gate and killed two soldiers in the barracks. 
Two men were also killed on the outside. The general had 
crowded so many men into the fort, together with the 
women and children, who had come there for protection, 
that it was almost impossible for a ball to strike in the fort, 
without killing some person. Very little injury, however, 
was experienced from the shells of the enemy; though 
well directed, they generally burst too soon. 

Under these circumstances, which excited in the gen 
eral the most terrible apprehensions, an officer of the 
Michigan militia came into the fort and inquired whether 
General Hull expected Colonel Brush to defend the city 
with two or three hundred men? He stated that the 
British forces were at the lanyard below the town, upon 


which information General Hull stepped into a room in 
the barracks, and returning in a few minutes, handed a 
note to his son, who immediately hoisted a white flag on 
a pike staff, and inquired whether he could say anything in 
addition to the note being answered in the negative he 
went out and proceeded to meet General Brock. When 
he returned from the enemy, he was accompanied by Col 
onel M Donnell and Major Glegg. It was now evident to 
every person that the general had tendered a capitulation ; 
and white flags in the meantime being hoisted on the walls 
in different places, the firing from the British batteries 
was discontinued. General Hull now called upon General 
Taylor, of Kentucky, Major Jessup, and several others, 
to assist in drawing up the articles of capitulation ; but 
they all indignantly refused their assistance. However, 
the business was soon arranged between the general and 
the British officers; who then immediately returned to 
the tanyard, where the British forces had halted. Our 
troops in the meantime were ordered to stack their arms; 
Colonel Findley with his regiment being ordered into the 
fort for the same purpose. It is impossible to describe 
the indignation which was felt and expressed by the offi 
cers on this occasion. The men very generally shed tears, 
and the common expression as they indignantly dashed 
down their arms, often breaking them to pieces, was 
"damn such a general." 

The Indians soon began their devastations by killing 
the cattle and sheep in the commons. About 12 o clock 
the British forces with General Brock at their head 
marched into the fort; the Americans were inarched out, 
and put into an adjoining garden ; the American flag was 
pulled down, and the British hoisted in its place. The 
firing of their cannon, with the yelling of the savages, and 
the discharging of their guns in the air, closed the scene 


and proclaimed their joy at their success. The following 
are the articles of capitulation : 

"Camp at Detroit, August 16, 1812. 
"Capitulation for the surrender of Fort Detroit, en 
tered into between Major General Brock, commanding His 
Britannic Majesty s forces on the one part, and Brigadier 
General Hull, commanding the northwestern army of the 
United States, on the other part : 

"1. Fort Detroit with all the troops, regulars as well 
as militia, will be immediately surrendered to the British 
forces under the command of Major General Brock, and 
will be considered prisoners of war, with the exception of 
such of the militia of the Michigan Territory as have not 
joined the army. 

"2. All public stores, arms, and all public documents, 
including everything else of a public nature, will be im 
mediately given up. 

"3. Private persons and property of every description 
will be respected. 

"4. His excellency, Brigadier General Hull, having 
expressed a desire that a detachment from the State of 
Ohio, on its way to join the army, as well as one sent from 
Detroit, under the command of Colonel M Arthur shall 
be included in the above capitulation, it is accordingly 
agreed to ; it is, however, to be understood, that such part 
of the Ohio militia as have not joined the army will be 
permitted to return to their homes, on condition that they 
will not serve during the war. Their arms, however, will 
be delivered up, if belonging to the public. 

"5. The garrison will march out at the hour of 12 
o clock this day, and the British forces will take imme 
diate possession of the fort. 

"J. M Donnell, Lt. Col. Mil. P. A. D. C. 
"J. B. Glegg, Maj. A. D. C. 
"J. Miller, Lt, Col. 4th Regt. U. S. Inft. 
"E. Brush, Col. 1st Regt. Mich. Mil." 
"Approved : 

"Win. Hull, Brig. (Jen. Com. N. W. Army. 
"Isaac Brock, Maj. Gen." 


To these articles, two additional ones were added, to 
which General Brock says, "certain considerations induced 
him to agree." They were not known to the troops at the 

"Detroit, August 16th, 1812. 

"It is agreed, that the officers and soldiers of the Ohio 
militia, shall be permitted to proceed to their respective 
homes, on this condition, that they are not to serve during 
the present war, unless they are exchanged. 

"Wm. Hull, Brig. Gen. 
"Isaac Brock, Maj. Gen." 

The other additional article places the Michigan mili 
tia and volunteers under Major Wetherell on the same 
principles with the Ohio militia. 

Colonel M Arthur, with his detachment, being ignorant 
of these transactions, was hastening back, with all possible 
dispatch ; having had no provisions except a few green 
pumpkins and potatoes from Friday morning till Sunday 
evening, when he arrived within a mile of the fort, he was 
informed of its surrender, and immediately ordered his 
men back to the river Rouge. There he found an ox, which 
being killed and divided among his men was eaten half raw. 
After some consultation with his officers, he sent Captain 
Mansfield with a flag of truce to the fort. On his way he 
was robbed of his horse and his arms by the Indians, and 
in the evening returned to the detachment, in company 
with Majors Dixon and Givens of the British army. 
Captain Elliott arrived about the same time and handed 
Colonel M Arthur the articles of capitulation. The colonel 
struck his sword in the ground and broke it to pieces, while 
tears of indignation stood in his eyes. The detachment 
then marched to the fort, and stacked their arms in the 
citadel. Colonels M Arthur and Cass both remonstrated 
against surrendering rifles, which were private property, 


but without success. They then observed, that they had 
already surrendered the muskets, or they would contend 
for the rifles. 

While the troops were stationed in the ordnance yard, 
the British guard pulled off their knapsacks, and took 
their knives from their scabbards; the Indians at the same 
time being employed in robbing the citizens of their prop 
erty and taking the horses from the dragoons. 

Several pieces of brass cannon, which had been sur 
rendered on the 16th of August, 76, by Colonel Baum to 
the American General Stark, were viewed with the great 
est pleasure by the British officers, some of whom saluted 
them with kisses. 

The troops who had surrendered in the fort, were es 
corted by the British guards to their vessels, which were 
lying in the river, and being stowed aboard, they were 
floated down to Springwells. The Michigan militia were 
liberated. Colonel M Arthur s detachment was embarked 
next morning and they all descended the river, the 4th 
regiment being destined for Quebec, and the militia for the 
State of Ohio, in which they were landed at different places 
on the shores of Lake Erie. They returned home dejected 
and spiritless, the issue of the campaign having proved so 
very different from the anticipations with which they 
commenced it. General Hull being landed from Lake 
Erie, made the best of his way to Massachusetts, his former 
place of residence, consigned to eternal infamy, with the 
curses of his country lowering over his head. 

To prove that the fort \vas not surrendered for the want 
of ammunition and provisions, it is only necessary to state 
the facts, on the authority of private and official informa 
tion. For the 24-pounders, there \vere six hundred rounds 
of fixed ammunition, prepared for use, of which two hun 
dred were grape shot; the same quantity was ready for the 


6-pounders, and two hundred rounds for the 4-pounders. 
The number of shells was very considerable. For the mus 
kets seventy-five thousand cartridges were made up, be 
sides twenty-four rounds apiece in each man s box. In the 
magazine there were sixty barrels of powder, and one hun 
dred and fifty tons of lead. In the contractor s store there 
was at least twenty-five day s provisions, and in the Terri 
tory a considerable quantity of wheat, and a sufficiency of 
windmills to grind it. To this stock might have been added 
Captain Brush s escort of one hundred and fifty horse loads 
of flour, and three hundred beeves at the river Raisin. 
The whole would have enabled the fort to stand a siege, if 
the enemy had been strong enough to besiege it, until the 
governor of Ohio could have relieved them. But cowardice 
had conspired with fate to produce a different result. 

There were nearly two thousand four hundred stands 
of arms surrendered to the enemy, besides those in the 
arsenal ; and the following is the British official return of 
the ordnance: 

Iron Brass 

9 24 pounders 3 6 pounders 

5 9 ditto 4 2 ditto 

j*_6 ditto 3 1 ditto 

17 iron pieces 1 8-inch howitzer 

j|2 brass pieces _!_ 5 J do. do. 

29 total 12 brass pieces 

Prom this account of the arms surrendered; from the 
preceding statement of the British force, and from the de 
scription of troops which composed each army, it is abund 
antly evident, that the American force under General Hull, 
was at least doubly as efficient as that to which he surren 
dered; and in addition to this great superiority of force, 
he had the advantage of a strong fortress which might have 
been defended against numbers vastly superior. 


If General Hull had made a bold and vigorous attack 
upon Maiden, when he first crossed into Canada, though he 
had even then lost much precious time, there cannot be a 
doubt, but that the fort would have surrendered without 
much loss on our part, and all the British forces in that 
quarter would have fallen into our hands. But it is doubt 
ful whether the British, having the command of the Lake, 
would not have soon compelled him to abandon it. Fortifi 
cations might have been erected on the island of Bois 
Blanc opposite Maiden, which would have commanded the 
river Detroit still more effectually ; but it would have been 
very expensive to maintain an army there, sufficient with 
these advantages only, to hold the country against the com 
mand of the lake, the importance of which had been duly 
appreciated by the British government. The fall of Mai 
den, however, would doubtless have awed the savages, into 
a temporary neutrality at least, which would have greatly 
relieved our frontier settlements. 

The administration of the general government exhibited 
great want of foresight in sending General Hull to Canada, 
without having taken the necessary measures to obtain the 
command of Lake Erie: and, unless it had been determined 
to hold Upper Canada, during the war at least, and thus 
to cut off all communication between the British and In 
dians, the invasion of that territory was wholly unneces 
sary and improper. Although the foregoing account of the 
operations of General Hull, clearly proves his incapacity 
to conduct any species of warfare, yet we ought not to con 
ceal the errors of others in relation to the affairs he had 
to manage. It is a fact that General Hull, while governor 
of Michigan, previous to his being appointed a brigadier in 
the army, and as early as the 6th of March, 1812, in a 
memorial which he laid before the war department, did sug 
gest the propriety of having a superior naval force on Lake 


Erie, as an auxiliary in the reduction of Upper Canada, 
without which it would be impossible to effect that object; 
and he pointed out the various difficulties which must at 
tend a different course. In another communication on the 
llth of April, after he had received his appointment in the 
army, he recommended in strong and explicit terms, the 
erection of a navy on the lakes. The United States had 
then but one old transport vessel on Lake Erie, which was 
repairing, and was not even launched for a month after 
the declaration of war. He represented to the government, 
that unless the northwestern army was strengthened by 
addition to its numbers, and followed by detachments to 
keep open the communication, and insure supplies from the 
State of Ohio ; and without the aid of a superior naval force 
on Lake Erie, it would be impossible for that army to carry 
on offensive operations in Upper Canada, or even to main 
tain its position at Detroit. But the war department dis 
regarded these suggestions, and expected General Hull to 
get command of the lakes, with the forces placed at his dis 
posal. Nothing could be more chimerical, unless General 
Dearborn had been ready to co-operate with a powerful 
army on the Niagara strait. By the capture of Maiden, 
with all the British forces in that quarter, and by an effi 
cient invasion at the same time from Niagara so as to cut 
off the communication of the British with Lake Erie and 
the upper country, the objects of the government might 
have been effected, without the expense of a navy on Lake 
Erie. But General Dearborn was not even ready to make 
an attempt at invasion, before the unfortunate affair at 
Queenstown on the 12th of October. While Hull was in 
vading Upper Canada he was lying at his ease at Green- 
bush, and on the 9th of August he concluded an armistice 
with the governor-general of the Canadas, w T hich was not 
to extend above Fort Erie on the Niagara. This measure 


was proposed by Governor Prevost, in consequences of in 
telligence that the orders in council were repealed. By 
excluding General Hull from the benefit of this arrange 
ment, his opponent, General Brock, would have been able in 
a short time to bring all the British forces against him. 
This forms no excuse, however, for the surrender of Detroit, 
for the armistice below was unknown to General Hull, till 
he was informed of it after the capitulation by General 
Brock. In this instance General Dearborn acted very im 
prudently, in suffering himself to be lulled by an armis 
tice, which was disapproved by the President, when it was 
his duty to co-operate with the northwestern army, by 
threatening an invasion at least, which would prevent Gen 
eral Brock from pressing with all his force against Hull. 
Thus, in the catalogue of our early failures, we discover 
many blunders and causes of miscarriage, besides those for 
which the commander of the northwestern army has to 

No sooner was General Brock in full possession of De 
troit, than he issued the following proclamation: 

"Whereas, the Territory of Michigan was this day ceded 
by capitulation to the arms of His Britannic Majesty, with 
out any other condition than the protection of private prop 
erty, and wishing to give an early proof of the moderation 
and justice of the government, I do hereby announce to all 
the inhabitants of the said Territory, that the laws hereto 
fore in existence shall continue in force, until His Majesty s 
pleasure be known or so long as the peace and safety of the 
said territory will admit thereof. And I do hereby also 
declare and make known to the inhabitants, that they shall 
be protected in the full exercise and enjoyment of their 
religion, of which all persons both civil and military will 
take notice, and govern themselves accordingly. All per 
sons having in their possession, or having any knowledge of 
any public property, shall forthwith deliver in the same. 
Officers of the militia will be held responsible that all arms 


in the possession of the militiamen, be immediately deliv 
ered up, and all individuals whatever, who have in their 
possession arms of any kind, will deliver them up without 
delay. Given under my hand at Detroit, 16th of August, 
1812, and in the 52nd year of His Majesty s reign. 

"Isaac Brock, G. C." 

This proclamation was executed in a few days, by the 
delivery or seizure of all the arms in the hands of the citi 
zens, whether public or private property. Having garri 
soned Detroit with 250 men, the general left it under the 
command of Colonel Proctor, and retired to Maiden, where 
he learned that the President of the United States had dis 
approved of the armistice negotiated with General Dear 
born, and that preparations would be made to invade 
Canada on the Niagara strait. The greater part of his 
troops were in consequence sent down to Forts George and 
Erie, to which places he soon followed them, having prev 
iously planned an expedition to be conducted by Major 
Muir against Fort Wayne. 

In concluding nay account of this disastrous campaign, 
it may not be amiss to state the final result in relation to 
General Hull. He requested an investigation of his con 
duct, and a court-martial was ordered by the Executive of 
the United States, of which General Dearborn was presi 
dent. This court met on the 3rd of January, 1814, in the 
city of Albany, New York, before which General Hull ap 
peared, and was charged witli two crimes: 1st, Treason; 
2nd, Cowardice. He plead not guilty. The court after a 
patient and impartial investigation finally pronounced 
their decision on the 26th of March. They acquitted him 
on the charge of treason, as not properly coming before 
them; but found him guilty of cowardice, and sentenced 
him to be shot to death ; at the same time they recommended 
him to the mercy of the President, on account of his age and 


his revolutionary services. The President approved the 
sentence on the 25th of April, and remitted its execution. 
On the same day the following general order was issued : 

"Washington City, April 25th, 1814. 
"The rolls of the army are to be no longer disgraced by 
having upon them the name of Brigadier General Win. 
Hull. The general court martial, of which General Dear 
born is president, is hereby dissolved. 
"By order of 

"J. B. Walbaeh, Adjt. Gen." 



General Hull being warned by the fate of Mackinaw, 
thought proper about the last of July, to send an express 
by way of Fort Wayne to Captain Heald, who commanded 
at Fort Dearborn, near the mouth of Chicago river, at the 
southwest extremity at Lake Michigan, with orders to dis 
mantle the fort, and deliver to the Indians in that neigh 
borhood, all the public property of his possession, which 
he could not bring away. Captain Wells, who lived at 
Fort Wayne, volunteered his services, with the aid of about 
fifty Miami Indians, to bring away the garrison with the 
women and children. He set out from Fort Wayne about 
the 3rd, and arrived at Chicago on the 12th of August. 
For several days a large number of Potawatamies, and 
Winebagoes had been encamped round the fort, but most 
of them professed to be friendly. Tecumseh and the Brit 
ish kept up a regular correspondence by runners with those 
Indians, who were waiting to hear the result of the con 
test about Maiden before they would join either side. 

On the 14th, Captain Heald distributed the public stores 
among the different tribes, with which they were much 
pleased. In the evening of the same day, Mr. Griffith, who 
acted as an interpreter and trader at the fort, was informed 
by a chief whose name was Black Patridge, that "leaden 



birds had been singing in Ids ears," and that they ought to 
be careful on the march they were going to take. From 
his suggestion, it was evident that the Indians had been 
holding councils on the subject of commencing hostilities. 
Their number in the neighborhood of the fort now 
amounted to five or six hundred. 

On the morning of the 15th at sunrise, the troops, con 
sisting of about seventy men, with some women and chil 
dren, marched from the fort, with the pack horses in the 
centre, and Captain Wells with his Indians in the rear. 
They had proceeded about a mile from the fort, when the 
front guard was fired on by the savages, who were posted 
behind a sandbank on the margin of the lake, and in a 
skirt of woods which the party was approaching, the rest 
of the country around them being an open prairie. At the 
same time they saw a body of Indians passing to their rear, 
to cut off their retreat to the fort. The firing now became 
general, and the troops seeing nothing but death and mas 
sacre before them, formed in line of battle, and returned 
the fire of the enemy with much bravery and success, as 
they slowly retreated into the prairie. The Indians made 
several desperate efforts to rush up and tomahawk them; 
but every charge was repulsed by the firmness of the troops, 
who fought with desperation, determined to sell their live& 
as dear as possible. Captain Wells being killed, his In 
dians retired from the party and joined the others. Sev 
eral women and children were also killed ; and our ranks 
were at last so reduced, as scarcely to exceed 20 effective 
men, yet they continued resolute, and stuck together, re 
solved to fight while one remained able to fire. But the 
Indians now withdrew some distance, and sent a small 
French boy to demand a surrender. The boy Avas Captain 
Heald s interpreter, who had run off to the Indians at the 
commencement of the action. He advanced cautiously, 


and Mr. Griffith, who was aftenvards a lieutenant in a com 
pany of spies, in Colonel Johnson s regiment from Ken 
tucky, advanced to meet him, intending to kill him for his 
perfidy. But the boy declared that it was the only way 
he had to save his life, and appeared sorry that he had been 
obliged to act in that manner. He then made known his 
business; the Indians proposed to spare the lives of our 
men, provided they would surrender. The proposal being 
made known to the surviving soldiers, they unanimously 
determined to reject it. The boy returned with this answer 
to the Indians, but in a short time he came back and en 
treated Mr. Griffith to use his influence with Captain 
Heald, to make him surrender, as the Indians were very 
numerous. The captain, his lady, and Mr. Griffith were 
all wounded. He at last consented to surrender, and the 
troops having laid down their arms, the Indians advanced 
to receive them ; and, notwithstanding their promises they 
now perfidiously tomahawked three or four of the men. 
One Indian Avith the fury of a demon in his countenance, 
advanced to Mrs. Heald with his tomahawk drawn. She 
had been accustomed to danger; and, knowing the temper 
of the Indians, with great presence of mind, she looked him 
in the face, and smiling, said : "Surely you will not kill a 

His arm fell nerveless ; the conciliating smile of an inno 
cent female, appealing to the magnanimity of a warrior, 
reached the heart of the savage and subdued the barbarity 
of his soul. He immediately took the lady under his pro 
tection. She was the daughter of General Samuel Wells, 
of Kentucky. The head of Captain Wells was cut off; and 
his heart was cut out and eaten by the savages. 

The Indians having divided their prisoners as usual in 
such cases, it was the fate of Captain Heald, his 1 lady and 
Mr. Griffith, to be taken by the Ottawas on the lake beyond 


the mouth of the river St. Joseph. Their wounds being 
severe, they looked upon destruction as inevitable; but 
heaven often smiles when we least expect it. Griffith had 
observed a canoe, which was large enough to carry them ; 
and they contrived to escape in it by night. In this frail 
bark they traversed the lake 200 miles to Mackinaw, where 
the British commander afforded them the means of return 
ing to the United States. 

The attack on the garrison of Chicago was caused by 
intelligence received from Tecumseh. On the night prev 
ious to the evacuation of the fort, a runner had arrived with 
information from Tecumseh, that Major Vanhorne had 
been defeated at Brownstown, that the army under Hull 
had returned to Detroit, and that there was every prospect 
of success. This intelligence decided the Indians in that 
quarter to join the British side, and they resolved to remain 
no longer inactive. 

After reading the above narrative, which is a plain, un 
varnished statement of facts, furnished by an eye witness, 
what must we think of the British government and its 
agents, who could thus instigate the sanguinary savage of 
the forest to deeds of ingratitude, perfidy, and murder? 
How low must we estimate the civilization of those, who 
could court the alliance of these barbarians in war, at the 
same time knowing, encouraging, and proclaiming to the 
world, their ruthless mode of warfare, and paying them a 
graduated price for the scalps of men, women, and chil 
dren? I appeal to my countrymen and to the world to say, 
whether the vengeance of the American people ought not to 
be hurled alike against these fiends of the forest and their 
British associates and instigators? And what kind of an 
American is he, let me ask, who can defend and justify the 
conduct of the British government, when all these transac 
tions are known and well authenticated to him? 


The various advantages now gained by the allies, includ 
ing their capture of the whole army at Detroit, completely 
fixed nearly all the Indians in the British interest. Very 
few remained friendly towards the United States; and 
those who did, were threatened with war and extermina 
tion. Our old friend, the Little Turtle, had died in the 
summer, and most of his nation had joined the enemy. 
The plans of Tecumseli appeared to be in a successful train 
of completion, and the siege of Forts Wayne and Harrison 
at the same moment, as the principal remaining obstacles, 
in the way of driving the white inhabitants over the Ohio 
river, were resolved on by his followers. The Potawa- 
taniies and Ottawas were to be assisted in the siege of Fort 
Wayne by the British under Major Muir ; while the Wine- 
bagoes and that part of the Mianiies who had determined 
on hostility, were to take Fort Harrison if possible by 
stratagem. The first of September was as early as they 
could be ready for action ; and about that time they agreed 
to make simultaneous attacks on those forts, which they ac 
cordingly carried into execution; but fortunately, Tecum 
seli and the British were delayed at Maiden till the 115th 
of September, before they could march to join the party 
at Fort Wayne. 

In the meantime the most active preparations were 
making in the States of Ohio and Kentucky to prosecute 
the war Avith renewed vigor. The governor of Ohio, as 
soon as he had been informed of the dangerous situation 
of Hull s army, had immediately ordered the remaining 
portion of the detached militia of his State, amounting to 
twelve hundred men, to be embodied and inarched to 
Urbana under the command of Brigadier General Tupper. 
The secretary of war had also previously called on Gover 
nor Scott of Kentucky for fifteen hundred men, including 
the regulars enlisted in that State, to reinforce the north- 


western army. Early in May the governor of Kentucky, in 
obedience to instructions from the war department, had 
organized ten regiments, amounting to five thousand five 
hundred men, as the quota of that State, under the act of 
Congress for detaching one hundred thousand militia for 
the service of the United States. All of these regiments 
had been filled by volunteering, the citizens of Kentucky 
having eagerly joined the standard of their country as soon 
as she called for men. 

The regiments of volunteers, which had been organized 
on the north side of Kentucky river, under the command of 
Colonels John M. Scott, Wm. Lewis and John Allen were 
ordered into service, under the requisition made by the war 
department. The 17th United States regiment, under Col 
onel Samuel Wells, late General Wells of the militia, who 
had fought in the battle of Tippecanoe, was to march with 
this detachment. They were ordered to rendezvous at 
Georgetown, in Scott county, on the 15th of August, where 
Brigadier General John Payne, of Scott, was to receive the 
command. When the whole assembled, they amounted to 
more than 2,000 men, there having been a regiment of vol 
unteers ordered to march, above the number required by the 
government. The patriotic zeal of the citizens of Ken 
tucky was never more conspicuous than on this occasion. 
The ranks were filled with the most respectable citizens; 
the most promising young men in the country, the most 
intelligent, the most wealthy, had eagerly enrolled them 
selves for service. Many of the officers were men of the 
highest standing for talents and integrity. Colonel John 
Allen, who commanded a rifle regiment, was surpassed 
by none, in his qualifications as an attorney at the bar of 
Kentucky, and in his estimable qualities and virtues as a 
private citizen. Major Martin D. Hardin of the same reg 
iment, the intimate friend of the colonel, stood also in the 


first ranks as a lawyer and a private citizen. He was 
shortly afterwards appointed Secretary of State by Gov 
ernor Shelby, who succeeded Governor Scott, in the latter 
part of this month. Major George Madison was Auditor 
of Public Accounts, and was held in the highest estimation 
by his countrymen. He had fought and bled in St. Claire s 
defeat, and had served his country in many other expe 
ditions against the Indians. Colonels Scott and Lewis 
were also experienced officers in Indian warfare, and high 
ly esteemed as private citizens. John Simpson, Esq., a 
captain in the rifle regiment, had been speaker of the house 
of representatives in Kentucky, and was now elected a rep 
resentative in Congress. There was indeed no part of this 
corps of volunteers, in which citizens of the first respec 
tability were not to be found all ready to meet the hazards 
and privations of an arduous and perilous campaign, in 
defense of their country s rights. In noticing individuals 
in this place, I must not, however, pass by the Reverend 
Samuel Shannon, who accompanied Colonel Scott s regi 
ment as chaplain. This venerable divine, in the early part 
of the revolution, had left Princeton college, where he was 
then a student, to enter as a lieutenant into the revolu 
tionary army, in which he served, except when a prisoner, 
to the termination of the war. At an advanced age, he now 
stepped forward again in defense of his country. He in 
structed the young soldier in his duties, and animated him 
by his own zeal, and by placing before him the former in 
dignities of the British, and the many heroic achievements 
of the revolution. He was a plain old gentleman, but his 
piety, his patriotism, and his politics, were of the most 
genuine description. 

Early on the 16th of August, the troops were paraded 
and reviewed by Governor Scott, whose appearance alone 
was sufficient to inspire them with sentiments of courage 


and patriotism. The remembrance of his revolutionary ser 
vices, and his former campaigns against the Indians, to 
gether with the dignity of his appearance and his venerable 
age, spoke more to the feelings of these intelligent men, 
than the most eloquent language could have conveyed. 

After ten o clock they were paraded again, and ad 
dressed by the Reverend James Blythe, principal of the 
Transylvania University, in a short and appropriate ser 
mon. The honorable Henry Clay then addressed them 
with his usual eloquence, and painted in lively colours, the 
honor which belongs to the volunteer soldier, fighting to 
defend the rights of his injured country. At the very 
moment, when General Hull was on this day capitulating 
in the most disgraceful manner in Detroit, Mr. Clay was in 
this address anticipating the fall of Maiden and the con 
quest of Upper Canada. How much at variance, the 
treacherous, dastardly deeds of the general, and the ani 
mating, patriotic anticipations of the orator ! 

On the 17th the troops were inspected by Brigade Major 
Garrard, an officer well versed in military tactics and dis 
cipline; and on the next day they drew two months pay 
in advance. They had been induced to expect sixteen dol 
lars more in advance, in lieu of the clothing to which they 
were entitled ; and some of them expressed dissatisfaction 
at riot receiving it. Major Gano, of Colonel Scott s regi 
ment paraded his battalion, and to try their patriotism pro 
posed to his men, either to go without, and trust to the jus 
tice of the government to furnish the clothing hereafter, 
or to return home. Six men volunteered to return; they 
were furnished with an escort to guard them out of camp 
and through the town with appropriate music. This was 
a disgrace, which no man of any honor or feeling could have 
endured. When arrived at home, some of them were 


treated with so much contempt by their wives, that they 
returned to the army and continued to discharge their duty. 

While the troops lay at Georgetown, an appropriate 
address from the general was circulated in camp, and on 
the 19th they marched for Newport and Cincinnati. The 
weather was rainy and the roads were deep ; but the men 
were in high spirits, expecting to join General Hull at 
Maiden or Detroit, and acquire laurels in the conquest of 
Upper Canada. On the 24th, they reached Newport, where 
the unwelcome news of the surrender of Detroit and the 
Michigan territory was received. At first no person could 
believe the intelligence. It was so wholly unexpected, that 
the highest evidence was required to confirm it. Such evi 
dence was soon afterwards received. The effect on the 
minds of the men was very dispiriting ; instead of reaping 
laurels in Canada, it was now evident, they would have to 
contend, with an inferior force, against the progress of the 
allies in our own territory. But their ardor and their 
spirits soon revived with the idea and the resolution of 
acting a conspicuous part in the front of danger. Having 
drawn arms and camp equipage on the 25th and 26th, they 
crossed the Ohio on the 27th to Cincinnati. 

When the news of the surrender of Detroit, spread 
through the States of Ohio and Kentucky, it created an ex 
citement and indignation as great as the catastrophe was 
unexpected. But one sentiment, indeed, pervaded the 
western country. Every citizen seemed animated with a 
desire to wipe off the disgrace, with which our arms had 
been stained ; and to avert the desolation which menaced 
the frontiers of Ohio and the western territories. It was 
well known, that most of the savage tribes, who had not 
previously joined the British standard, but were watching 
the course of events, in order to determine what side it 
would be best to take, would consider our reverses at Mac- 


inaw, Detroit, and Chicago, as entitling the British arms 
to a decided preference, and that they would immediately 
commence their depredations on the frontiers which were 
exposed at every point. 

In the meantime the balance of the detached militia in 
Kentucky had been ordered into service. Governor Harri 
son, who had fought the battle of Tippecanoe, had been 
authorized to take command of all the troops of the In 
diana and Illinois Territories, and carry on the war in that 
quarter against the Indians; and had also been empowered 
by the war department to call on the governor of Kentucky, 
for any portion of the contingent of that State which was 
not in service. Under this authority he had repaired to 
Kentucky, and called for the balance of her troops after 
the above regiments had been selected for the northwestern 
army, intending to carry an expedition against the hostile 
tribes on the Illinois river. He was at Frankfort making 
arrangements for their march, when the intelligence was 
received that the army under Hull was in a critical sit 

A few days before the actual attack on Detroit by Gen 
eral Brock, an express had been sent by General Hull, to 
hasten the reinforcement which had been ordered to join 
him from Kentucky. By this conveyance several of the 
principal officers of the army had written to their friends 
in Cincinnati, as well as to the governor of Kentucky, stat 
ing their entire want of confidence in their commander, and 
their apprehensions of some fatal disaster from his miser 
able arrangements and apparent imbecility and cowardice. 
These letters also declared it to be the common wish of the 
army, that Governor Harrison should accompany the ex 
pected reinforcements He was also very popular in Ken 
tucky, and was anxiously desired as their commander by 
the troops marching from that State to the northwestern 


army. But the authority with which lie had been invested 
by the President, did not entitle him to command any 
corps, which was not intended for operations in the west 
ern territories. 

The question of giving Harrison the command of the 
detachment on the march from Kentucky for Detroit, pre 
sented great difficulties to the mind of Governor Scott, 
The motives to make the appointment were numerous. He 
had ample testimony of its being the wish of the army at 
Detroit, The 4th United States regiment in particular, 
which had acquired so much fame at Tippecanoe, under the 
command of Harrison, he was assured by an officer of that 
corps, were eager to see their old commander again placed 
over them. The same desire was felt by the Kentucky 
militia; and the citizens echoed their sentiments in every 
part of the State. To these may be added his own ardent 
attachment to Governor Harrison, and entire confidence 
in his fitness for the command. The obstacles in the way 
of the appointment were, that Harrison was not a citizen 
of Kentucky, the laws of which would not sanction the 
appointment of any other to an office in the militia, and 
that a major general had already been appointed for the 
detached militia, one only being required and admissible 
in that corps. Had Governor Scott been capable of shrink 
ing from his duty and the responsibility of the occasion, he 
might have easily evaded this delicate business, as the day 
on which he was deliberating upon it, was the last but one 
that he had to remain in office. That he might, however, 
neither act unadvisedly, nor appear to assume too much, in 
this situation, he determined to ask the advice of the gove**- 
nor elect, and such members of Congress, and officers of the 
general and State governments, as could be conveniently 
collected. At this caucus, composed of Governor Shelby, 
the honorable H. Clay, speaker of the house of representa- 


tives in Congress, the honorable Thomas Todd, judge of the 
Federal circuit court, etc., it was unanimously resolved to 
recomment to Governor Scott, to give Harrison a brevet 
commission of major general in the Kentucky militia, apd 
authorize him to take command of the detachment now 
marching to Detroit; and to reinforce it with another reg 
iment which he had called into service, and an additional 
body of mounted volunteer riflemen. The governor con 
ferred the appointment agreeably to their advice, which 
received: the general approbation of the people, and was 
hailed by the troops at Cincinnati with the most enthus 
iastic joy. 

The regiment commanded by Colonel Barbour, when 
ordered into service at the call of Governor Harrison was 
directed to rendezvous at the Red Banks, with a view of 
marching to the aid of Governor Edwards at Kaskaskia in 
the Illinois Territory. The regiments of Colonels Wilcox 
and Miller were ordered to rendezvous at Louisville, and 
on the Ohio below, for the purpose of marching to Vin- 
cennes to protect the Indiana Territory. Colonels Barbee 
and Jennings were at first ordered to the same place; but 
in consequence of the perilous situation of the northwestern 
army, they were now directed by express to rendezvous at 
Georgetown on the 1st of September, and pursue the other 
regiments by the way of Newport and Cincinnati for the 
northwestern frontiers. In the regiment of Colonel Jen 
nings, the honorable Samuel M Kee and Thomas Mont 
gomery, members of Congress, were serving as privates in 
the ranks. They were ready to execute by their personal 
sendees in the humblest station, the measures which they 
advocated in the Legislature of the Union. The regiment 
of Colonel Poague was ordered to rendezvous at Newport, 
on its way to the northwestern army; and a regiment of 


dragoons under Colonel Simrall was likewise, directed to 
proceed for the same destination. 

About this time also, the secretary of war ordered fif 
teen hundred men from the back parts of the State of Vir 
ginia, who were organized and placed by the governor of 
that State under the command of General Leftwich. TAVO 
thousand men were likewise ordered from the back parts 
of Pennsylvania, who were placed by the choice of their 
officers under the command of General Crooks. A com 
pany of twelve month s volunteers, called the Pittsburgh 
blues, and another of Petersburg!! volunteers in Virginia, 
were also received into service the whole from those 
States being destined for the northwestern army. 

General Harrison appointed the honorable R. M. John- 
son, Win. S. Hunter, and John Logan. Esq., his aides, and 
made some other preparatory arrangements before he pro 
ceeded to Cincinnati to enter on his command. Informa 
tion of these proceedings was also transmitted to the war 
department, with a request that he might be confirmed in 
the command which he had received from the governor of 
Kentucky. About the 25th of August, he published an 
address to the people of that State, accompanied by another 
from Governor Scott, in which they called for a corps of 
five hundred mounted volunteers, to proceed to the north 
west without delay. An address was also published on the 
same subject by the honorable R. M. Johnson, wjio had 
previously distinguished himself in Congress, by his zeal in 
the cause of his country. He was directed by General 
Harrison to remain a few days at Georgetown, and bring on 
such mounted troops as might be raised by the 1st of Sep 
tember. Captain John Arnold, who had marched a com 
pany to Vincennes in May to aid Governor Harrison, and 
who had commanded a spy company, and been in the ad 
vance guard, in Wayne s battle with the Indians in 94, now 


raised a company of mounted riflemen, seventy-six strong, 
in five days, and rendezvoused on the 1st of September at 
Georgetown. Captain James Johnson raised a similar 
company in the counties of Scott and Harrison, and went 
on two days in advance of the troops who rendezvoused on 
the 1st of September. 

In consequence of some of the regiments, which had been 
intended for Indians, being ordered to the northwest, Gen 
eral Harrison thought it advisable, to raise an additional 
force for that Territory. In compliance with his request, 
Governor Shelby issued a proclamation early in September, 
for raising a large corps of mounted volunteers, to repair 
immediately to Vincennes. The whole of the Kentucky 
troops destined for that quarter were placed under the im 
mediate command of General Samuel Hopkins, a venerable 
revolutionary officer, who was at this time a member of 
Congress. In obedience to the proclamation of the gover 
nor, the citizens crowded again to the standard of their 
country. To sum up the occurrences of the times in a few 
words, it may be said, that the whole State of Kentucky, 
was for several weeks a constant scene of military parade. 
The most ardent zeal and patriotism prevailed in every 
breast. Every person seemed willing to march for the de 
fense of the frontiers the question was not, who will go 
it was, who will stay? 

Kentucky thus sent upwards of seven thousand of her 
citizens into the field while they are marching to their 
places of destination, to form the armies under Harrison 
and Hopkins ; and before we proceed to detail their opera 
tions, it will be proper to notice some other transactions by 
the executives of Kentucky and the Union. The government 
of the United States, being well apprised of the means taken 
by the British agents from Canada, to sway the Indians in 
their favor, made an attempt as soon as war was declared 


to allay the rising storm. The various tribes of Indians 
bordering on our frontiers were invited to a general council 
to be held at Piqua on the 15th of August. They were re 
quested to bring their families, and kindle a great council 
fire; and the most beneficial results were anticipated. 
Governor Meigs, Thomas Worthington and Jeremiah Mor 
row, Esq., were appointed commissioners. They repaired 
to Piqua at the time appointed ; but our disasters and the 
intrigues of the British completely defeated the plans of 
the government. The Shawanoese brought their families, 
the Wyandots of Sandusky, the Mingoes, some Delawares 
and Ottawas, and a few Miamies attended. A large body 
of Miamies came five miles on this side of Fort Wayne, 
where they halted till they received information of the 
massacre of the garrison of Chicago, and the surrender of 
Mackinaw and Detroit, when they returned and aided the 
Potawatamies in the siege of Fort Wayne. Those who at 
tended professed great friendship ; but little reliance, how 
ever, was placed in many of them, except the Shawanoese 
and Wyandots, who still possessed some integrity. They 
had been induced to believe that the Americans by inviting 
them to bring their women and children, intended to get 
them all in their power, and then massacre the whole, 

A measure of much greater importance and practicabil 
ity than negotiating with the Indians, was now proposed 
from another source. Governor Shelby being installed as 
the executive of Kentucky, hastened to communicate to the 
war department, his views respecting the military affairs of 
the western country. Having had much experience in the 
revolution and in former Indian wars in this quarter, he 
foresaw the disasters which must result from the plan of 
having every movement ordered or sanctioned by the war 
department before its adoption. He, therefore, recom 
mended the appointment of a Board of War, in the western 


country. His advice was not entirely disregarded on this 
occasion, and will deserve to be seriously considered by war 
ministers in future, who may be disposed to think they can 
direct operations on the frontiers, better than the com 
manding general, or a Board of War sitting near the scenes 
of action. In any war in which the United States may en 
gage, if the secretary undertakes to control the general in 
minor movements and plans, on a distant frontier, defeats, 
disasters, and disgrace will inevitably ensue. The follow 
ing is the communication of Governor Shelby : 

"Frankfort, Ky., September 5th, 1812. 

"Sir In a government possessing the same extent of 
territory as that of the United States, with her inhabitants 
scattered and detached, and organized as it is, that energy 
cannot be exercised as in governments more compact. 

"Impressed with the truth of the preceeding fact, and 
being called by my fellow citizens to fill the executive de 
partment of the government of this State, and having en 
tered on the duties of the important station, I feel it a duty 
incumbent on me, to state to you sir, my ideas on the sub 
ject of war measures northwest of the Ohio river. 

"When the northwestern army, commanded by General 
Hull, marched, all western America Avas flattered with the 
hope of success; too soon have we experienced a reverse, 
and that hope which beamed in every countenance a few 
days since, is now followed by astonishment, by mortifica 
tion and anxiety, arising from a rapid succession of mis 
fortunes, unknown in the annals of our historical events. 
The surrender of the fort of Michilimacana and its garrison 
Detroit and the army commanded by General Hull the 
evacuation of Chicago, and the murder of the garrison, on 
the way from thence to Fort Wayne, by the Indians, are 
distressing facts. 

"The Indians, thus elated with success, encouraged and 
supported by the British from Canada, will now endeavor 
to extend their savage and barbarous devastations along 
the extensive frontier of the State of Ohio, and the several 
Territories unless checked bv the detachment of militia 


lately ordered from this State by my predecessor, and the 
regular troops who have marched under Colonel Wells. 
It is believed from information received from various 
sources, that the Indians are collecting in force, at several 
points from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river, with 
the intent to make vigorous attacks on both the Indiana 
and Illinois Territories; and should they be successful in 
a direction towards Vincennes, we shall, I fear, for a time 
have the Ohio river for a barrier, from the mouth of Ken 
tucky to the Junction of Ohio and the Mississippi. 

"To regain possession of the posts on the waters of the 
Lakes will require time; but, in the meanwhile, to stop the 
invasion of the enemy is all important to the welfare of our 
common country. It is expected that the troops which 
have marched, and are now marching from this State, the 
State of Ohio and Indiana Territory, will be so arranged 
by Governor Harrison, in whom they have great confidence, 
as to protect the great extent of frontier, and to act offen 
sively likewise, if properly supplied with the provisions 
and other necessaries. 

"It is not to be expected from the success our Indian 
enemy have met with, and the aid they will receive from the 
British, that they will be subdued this campaign ; they are 
elated and will act with more vigor, and be more deter 
mined than usual. To subdue them is the important que^ 
tion. The time of the present detachment of militia now 
in service, will expire next February; to keep the enemy 
in check, it is conjectured their places will be supplied by 
troops of a similar description, ready to take the field next 
spring at as early a period, as the nature of the country 
in which they will have to act, and other circumstances 
will justify the measure. 

"To march an army at a critical moment to act offen 
sively, is an object ever to be desired, and on such move 
ments the success of the campaign often depends. So re 
mote is the scene of war in western America from the seat 
of the general government, and so various are the measures 
to be pursued, which are to guide an army to honor and 
success, against a subtle, wary enemy, it appears to me 
impossible for the President to adopt with certainty, a line 



of operations to be observed by any officer, appointed to 
command in this section of the United States, however 
skillful the commander, and however judicious the arrange 
ments may be at the moment when made, circumstances 
often occur which render a change necessary. On an 
emergency of this kind, to be compelled to have recourse 
to the war department, forward a statement of facts, and 
receive an answer, will not only greatly retard the move 
ments of an army, but may wholly defeat the desired object. 

"From the same source other causes may arise, which 
will often delay the marching of an army, perplex both 
officers and soldiers, have a tendency to disgust men with 
the service, and in a long tedious war render it difficult 
for the government to call forth those resources, which the 
exigency of the case may require. 

"The cases here alluded to, will arise from occurrences 
which it will be impossible for you to correct in due tinib, 
and which have come within my own observation in times 
past. Inattention, or any other misconduct, in quarter 
masters, contractors, commissaries and paymasters, or 
either of them, in the western country, so distant from you, 
may produce irremediable misfortune. 

"The circumstances which lead me to these reflections, 
arise from the delay which took place in marching the first 
detachment of the militia from this State, under General 
Payne. Notwithstanding the emergency of the case re 
quired the utmost promptitude, being intended to succour 
General Hull; yet everything necessary for their equip 
ment, except arms and ammunition, was purchased and pre 
pared after marching orders were issued ; and the dispatch 
at last is greatly to be attributed to the exertion of indi 
viduals ; nay, even the patriotic spirit of the ladies in mak 
ing markees and tents. Although it would have been im 
possible for this army, under any arrangement, to have 
reached Detroit, in time to have relieved General Hull 
yet, if it had not been detained at Georgetown and Newport, 
waiting for the necessary supplies at both places, possibly 
by forced marches, the garrison at Chicago might have 
been saved. 


"I am not disposed to find fault with any arrangement 
which has been made, nor with any officer of any depart 
ment of the government, yet, when important facts occur 
they ought to be made known, and the evil in future pre 
vented. When the orders issued for calling into actual 
service, three regiments of this State s quota of the 100,000 
militia, they were promised two month s pay at the place 
of rendezvous. This I am informed was complied with. 
In two or three days after these regiments marched from 
Georgetown, a requisition was made for the residue of this 
State s quota; three regiments of infantry and about 300 
cavalry have marched to join General Payne; and three 
other regiments have crossed the Ohio below into the In 
diana and Illinois Territories. These troops are certainly 
entitled to every compensation and equipment, which those 
first ordered into service received yet, I am induced to 
believe, they have not received the two month s pay in ad 
vance, nor scarcely any other article of equipment to make 
them comfortable, and protect them from the inclemency 
of the weather, nor hospital stores. Such is the fact as 
respected two regiments and the cavalry, that passed this 
place. Men who engage for so long a tour as six month*, 
are compelled to expend money for necessary articles of 
clothing, and the cavalry in considerable addition to that 
of the infantry. Many thousand dollars of debts have been 
contracted, under a confidence that two months pay in ad 
vance would be made to the whole of the militia, when 
called into actual service. Both debtors and creditors 
have been disappointed, except as to the three first regi 
ments, which has occasioned murmurings and discontent 
a circumstance to be regretted, not only as it respects the 
soldiers and their creditors, but as to the effect it may have 
on a future call of the militia. 

"To aid the great objects of the government in arrang 
ing and carrying on the necessary war measures, is the duty 
of every American citizen ; but more especially is it the duty 
of those characters who are selected in the several States, 
to carry into effect the executive departments thereof. 
Since coming into my present office, I have seriously re 
flected on the present situation of our northwestern fron- 


tiers, and am induced to believe, that unless some change 
of measures is adopted, the object of the President as con 
templated at present, will be defeated, however wisely 
planned much blood be spilt unnecessarily immense 
sums of money improperly spent and, what I most appre 
hend and dread, a dissatisfaction among our citizens to the 
great cause, from some of the reasons heretofore assigned. 

"To remedy the mischiefs apprehended, I Avill take the 
liberty of suggesting to the President, the propriety of ap 
pointing a board of respectable characters, resident in the 
western country, responsible to him, in any way which it 
shall be his pleasure to direct, with power to call into ser 
vice, under the laws of Congress, the militia which may be 
required, from time to time, from the States of Kentucky, 
Ohio, and the Territories of Indiana and Illinois, to direct 
their operations either of offense or defense to require 
from the war department all the munitions of war neces 
sary for the supply of the troops, and all necessary equip 
ments to have the control over the subordinate agents of 
the war department, within the district assigned, and to 
make it the duty of the board to report to the department 
of war, from time to time, the measures by them adopted. 

"A board thus organized, would not fail of success in 
all the war measures in this section of the United States; 
characters properly selected to such an office, would feel a 
prompt desire to promote our common cause; from their 
knowledge of the country, they would be able to direct the 
necessary operations against the enemy, and whenever 
necessary, being in the vicinity of the army, give their ad 
vice to the officer commanding, and order out detachments 
to his aid, or divert the enemy so as certainly to insure suc 
cess in the main enterprise, and secure our frontiers from 
savage cruelty and devastation. 

"If such a board was now organized, and had the con 
trol of the present armament, I would pledge myself the 
Indians would have cause to lament this campaign, and 
their temerity in joining the British, and deserting the 
friendship of the United States. This is not a singular or 
novel idea it is one formerly entertained and practiced 
by General Washington, when President of the United 


States, and still adhered to by all men of experience in 
this country. 

"While I am writing this letter, I have received a dis 
patch from Governor Harrison, dated at Piqua, of the sec 
ond instant, to which he informs me that General Win 
chester is ordered on to take command of the detachment 
sent from this State for the relief of General Hull. This 
arrangement at once divides the army under Governor 
Harrison, and renders either part unequal to any object of 
importance, and ruins the fairest prospects of the expedi 
tion. It shows, however, in the strongest point of view, the 
utility of the plan that I propose, of forming a board of war 
measures in the western country, who would have a clear 
knowledge of the whole ground before them, and could 
project plans against the enemy, which might with cer 
tainty be carried into complete effect. Notwithstanding 
our late ill-fortune on the lakes, I made great calculations 
upon the army under Governor Harrison had they pro 
ceeded rapidly on, it is more than probable he could, with 
the force he had, have retaken Detroit with very little loss. 
In his army, were many of the most influential and re 
spectable citizens of this State, from whom everything was 
to be expected, which possibly could be achieved by any 
set of men on earth. And I believe had his march not been 
interrupted, in a very short time, we should have seen the 
flag of the United States, again waving on the bank of 
Lake Erie. 

"Before I had concluded this letter, information was 
received, that a number of families had been killed by the 
Indians, on the waters of White river, twelve or fifteen 
miles from the Ohio in the Indiana Territory ; and that the 
inhabitants thereof, are crossing to this State by hundreds. 
Should the Indians attack the Territories of Indiana and 
Illinois, in that force which the present situation of our 
affairs, as relates to the war against Canada, seems almost 
to invite them to, there is no power here to order men out 
of this State to their assistance, nor is there the smallest 
provision made of arms or ammunition for an expedition, 
should it be expedient to carry one into the Indian towns, 
to draw them from our frontiers into their own country. 


"I have written yon a long letter; the happiness and 
welfare of my country have prompted me to it, and will, I 
trust, be a sufficient apology. 

"I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, 

"Isaac Shelby." 

"The Hon Win. Eustis, Secretary of W T ar." 

The following is the answer of Mr. Secretary Eustis to 
the preceding letter. It indicates the extent of the discre 
tionary powers with which General Harrison was en 

"War Department, September 17, 1812. 

"Sir Your excellency s letter of the 5th inst. has been 
received and laid before the President. The intelligence 
and patriotism which have dictated the useful information 
w r hich you have been pleased to communicate is duly ap 

"The embarrassments attending the organization, direc 
tion, and supplies of any force, with the difficulty of deter 
mining the amount, and time which exigencies may require, 
at so distant a point from the seat of government have been 
sensibly felt. To find an adequate remedy, has engaged 
much of the attention of the executive. 

"From a board of intelligent, influential, and patriotic 
citizens, much useful information, and other essential ad 
vantages might be derived. Whether they could be clothed 
with the powers suggested, is a question requiring consid 
eration. To meet existing emergencies, after consulting 
the lawful authority vested in the President, it has been de 
termined to vest the command of all the forces on the 
western and northwestern frontier in an officer, whose 
military character and knowledge of the country, appear 
to be combined with the public confidence. General Har 
rison has accordingly been appointed to the chief command, 
with authority to employ officers, and to draw from the pub 
lic stores, and every other practical source, all the means 
of effecting the object of his command. 

"In the great and unexpected demands created by the 
late disasters, it will necessarily happen that deficiences in 


the supplies will be experienced. Every exertion, however, 
is making to provide for the troops, the munitions which 
they require. 

"I have the honor to enclose a copy of requisition made 
on Governor Scott should requisitions be made beyond the 
quota assigned to the State of Kentucky, the President is 
assured of a prompt co-operation on the part of the execu 
tive, under the act of February, 1795. 

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your 
obedient servant, 

"Wm. Eustis." 

"His excellency, Governor Shelby." 

"P. S. In addition to the supplies ordered from Pitts 
burgh, ten thousand pair of shoes, five thousand blankets, 
tents, camp equipage, and quartermaster s stores, are on 
their way from Philadelphia for the northwestern army. 
A part of them at least are on their way, and will be fol 
lowed by the remainder without loss of time." 

We will now proceed with the operations of the north 
western army under Harrison. When he arrived at Cin 
cinnati, and took command of the first regiments which 
had marched from Kentucky, he immediately issued the fol 
lowing general order, whicli will give an idea of the kind of 
discipline and tactics, that were practiced on this campaign. 

"Headquarters, August 28, 1 812. 

"The troops will continue their march in the direction 
of Dayton by way of Lebanon, at an early hour on to-mor 
row morning. 

"The commandants of the several corps will at every 
convenient opportunity commence drilling their men to the 
performance of the evolutions, contemplated by the com- 
mander-in-chief for the order of march and battle. The 
principal feature in all these evolutions, is that of a battal 
ion changing its direction, by swinging round on its centre. 
This, however, is not to be done by wheeling, which by a 
large body in the woods, is impracticable. It is to be per 
formed thus: The battalion being on its march in a single 
rank, and its centre being ascertained, the front division 


comes to the right about, excepting the man in the rear of 
that division, who steps two feet to the right; at the same 
time the front man of the second division, takes a position 
about six feet to the left of the man in the rear of the front 
division, and dresses with him in a line at right angles to 
the line of march. These two men acting as markers or 
guides for the formation of the new alignment, at the word 
form the new alignment march ; the men of the front, 
file round their guide and form in succession on his right. 
At the same time the men of the rear division, file up in suc 
cession to the left of the guide, and dress in a line with him 
and the guide of the front division. This manaeuvre may 
be performed by any number of men by company and 
platoon as well as by battalion. 

"Wm. H. Harrison, 
"Maj. Gen. Commanding." 

On the next day the troops marched very early, and on 
the morning of the 31st, after they had passed Lebanon a 
few miles, and were about 40 from Cincinnati, the general 
who had been detained overtook them. To give him an 
evidence of their esteem and confidence, as he passed from 
rear to front, they saluted him with three cheers. This re 
ception was gratifying, as it proved that they would cheer 
fully fight under his command ; and such was the ardor of 
these volunteers, and their confidence in their general, that 
they would have beaten any equal number of the best 
British regulars. With the officers of their choice to com 
mand them, they would have preferred death on the field of 
battle to an ignominious retreat or surrender. 

On the 1st of September they arrived at Dayton; and 
on the next day as they were marching for Piqua, General 
Harrison was overtaken by an express, with a communi 
cation from the war department, which informed him, that 
he had been appointed a brigadier general in the army of 
the United States, on the 22nd of August, and assigned to 
the command of all the forces in the Indiana and Illinois 


Territories, with instructions to consult and co-operate 
with General Hull, and with Governor Howard of the Mis 
souri Territory. In answer to this communication he de 
clined accepting the appointment, until he could hear the 
determination of the government, after the surrender of 
Detroit, and the character in which he was then acting, 
had been known at the war department. He also wished 
to know how far his acceptance would make him subor 
dinate to General Winchester, who was to command the 
northwestern army, in the main design of regaining our 
lost Territory and taking Maiden. He gave it as his opin 
ion, that there was a necessity for having one head in the 
western country to direct all the military movements ; and 
with regard to the selection of a suitable person, he re 
spectfully suggested the advantages which he possessed 
over Winchester, in his personal influence in the western 
States, and in his perfect knowledge of the country, in 
which he had risen from the youngest ensign in the United 
States regiment. The importance of possessing the confi 
dence of the militia troops, and the impossibility of obtain 
ing a correct knowledge of the country from the existing 
maps, were also briefly noticed in his answer. 

On the 3rd the troops arrived at Piqua, 80 miles from 
Cincinnati, and only three from the outside settlements. 
Piqua is the Indian name for this place, which is called 
Washington by the people of Ohio. It is a little village, 
situated on the west bank of the Great Miami. The general 
having now ascertained, that Port Wayne was invested by 
the neighboring Indians, detached from this place, Colonel 
Allen s regiment with two companies from Lewis and one 
from Scott s regiments, with instructions to make forced 
marches for its relief. A regiment of TOO mounted men, 
under the command of Colonel Adams, had also advanced 
with the same view, as far as Shane s crossing of the St. 


Marys. This corps was composed of the citizens of Ohio, 
of all ages and conditions, who had, unsolicited by the gov 
ernment, volunteered and organized themselves for the pro 
tection of the frontiers, and the relief of Fort Wayne. 
Many gentlemen, who held important offices in the State, 
and not a few of the most wealthy and respectable citizens 
of Cincinnati, were to be found in this regiment. Such, 
indeed was the ardor of the citizens to serve in this way, 
that every road to the frontiers was crowded with unso 
licited volunteers. Their zeal was highly honorable to 
themselves, but in the end it proved disadvantageous to the 
cause; for they consumed much of the provisions, which 
had been accumulated at the outposts by the orders ot 
General Hull, the want of which was afterwards severely 

On the evening of the 4th, General Harrison received 
further intelligence, that a British and Indian force had 
left Maiden on the 18th of August, to join the Indians al 
ready at the siege. Having previously been advised that 
General Winchester was ordered by the war department, 
to take command of the troops destined to reinforce the 
northwestern army, he had intended to resign them to him 
at Piqua, for which purpose he had written to Winchester 
to come on to that place ; but on learning the critical situa 
tion of Fort Wayne, lie determined not to wait for Win 
chester, but to retain the command till he had relieved the 

Early next day, the 5th of September, he paraded the 
remainder of the troops, and delivered them a speech, in 
which he stated, that Fort Wayne was in imminent danger, 
and tli at it was absolutely necessary to make forced 
marches to relieve it. He read several articles of war, pre 
scribing the duty of soldiers, and explained the necessity 
for such regulations. He then observed, that if there was 


any person, who would not submit to such regulations, or 
who was afraid to risk his life in defense of his country, he 
might return home, as he did not wish to have any person 
with him who was afraid to fight or unwilling to discharge 
his duties. One man only said he wished to return, and his 
friends having obtained leave as usual to escort him on his 
way, he was hoisted on a rail and carried to the Big Miami, 
in the w^aters of which they absolved him from the obliga 
tions of courage and patriotism, and then gave him leave 
of absence. 

The troops were detained here till the 6th for want of 
flints, a very small, yet indispensable article. On that day 
they marched, leaving the greater part of their clothes aiid 
heavy baggage at Piqua, and overtook Colonel Allen s regi 
ment early on the 8th at St. Mary s river, where an express 
from the general had overtaken him with orders to halt and 
build some block houses, for the security of provisions and 
the protection of the sick. This place is commonly known 
by the name of Girty s town. The men were here put ou 
half rations, but any one who did not like such fare had 
leave to remain at the block houses. Major R. M. Johnson 
arrived on the evening of the same day, with a corps of 
mounted volunteers, consisting of the companies of Cap 
tains Arnold and Johnson, and a company from Mason 
county, under the command of Captain Ward. The army 
was now about two thousand two hundred men strong. 

While the troops were at Piqua, Mr. Johnson the Indian 
agent, at the request of General Harrison, had procured 
some Shawanoe Indians to go down to the mouth of the 
Anglaize, the site of old Fort Defiance, and examine 
whether any British force had passed up to the siege of 
Fort Wayne. A Shawanoe half blood, by the name of 
Logan, who had received his name in consequence of his 
having been taken prisoner when a boy, by General Logan, 


in an excursion from Kentucky, had also been sent by the 
agent, to ascertain the situation of the fort. He was an 
Indian of great merit, and a chief warrior in his tribe. He 
was about six feet high and robust, with broad shoulders 
and a prominent forehead. He was much attached to Gen 
eral Harrison and a warm friend to our cause, which he 
promoted by acting as a guide and a spy for our army. On 
his trip to Fort Wayne, he eluded all the vigilance of the 
enemy, got into the fort, and returned with the information 
of its being beseiged. He also brought intelligence, that 
Stephen Johnson, a brother to the Indian agent, had been 
killed in sight of the fort, while attempting to escape as an 
express, and that the Indians had tried every stratagem to 
get possession of the fort. This information was import 
ant, as well as the report of the Indians from the Auglaize, 
that there was no appearance of a British army having gone 
up the Miami of the Lakes. The hostile Indians were 
taking similar measures to obtain information of Harri 
son s movements. On the night of the 8th, while the army 
lay in tolerable open order, at the St. Marys, the besiegers 
at Fort Wayne sent their spies to examine it. They did not 
get round the camp before daylight, and returned with a 
report, that "Kentucky was coming as numerous as tlie 

Early next morning the army inarched for Fort Wayne, 
except the mounted volunteers, who remained till 12 
o clock, to rest their horses, and elect a major to command 
the corps. R. M. Johnson was chosen for this office, and 
Benjamin S. Chambers was appointed quartermaster, and 
the reverend James Suggette, adjutant to his battalion. 
The army arrived in the evening at the camp of Colonel 
Adams, at Shane s crossing of the St. Marys; and Major 
Johnson came up in the night, and encamped half a mile 
above the main army. On the morning of the 10th, some 


delay was caused by repairing broken wagons and making 
other necessary arrangements. General Harrison was un 
remitting in the discharge of his duties. Every department 
underwent his personal inspection; and the temper and 
condition of every corps in the army was known to him. 
The delay this morning was not spent idly by the officers 
and men. Most of the different corps were paraded and 
drilled. Major Johnson s battalion was drilled on horse 
back, by Captain James Johnson, whose zeal and military 
information was surpassed by few men of his age and 

In the following general order, which was issued at this 
place, the reader will find the system of tactics pursued by 
the general in forming his troops for fighting in the woods. 

"H. Q. Second Crossing of St. Marys, 

"September 10, 1812. 

"The signal for a general charge will be beating the roll. 
At night the officers and men will lie upon their arms and 
their clothes. Two or more guns firing in succession will 
constitute an alarm, at which the whole army will parade 
in the order of the encampment, which will be a hollow 
square, unless otherwise directed. When a sentinel dis 
charges his gun in the night, ascertain the cause; and 
should he have sufficient reason to believe on examination, 
that an enemy is near, he will cause two guns to be fired in 
quick succession. Should the firing proceed from an insuf 
ficient cause to give an alarm, the officer of the guard will 
immediately call out "all is well," which will be repeated 
through the army. The same shall take place upon an 
accidental firing in the day time. The order of battle, for a 
rear attack in the day time, while the army are on the 
march, will be so far attended to, with respect to the rear 
line, that the rear battalions of Colonels Lewis and Allen s 
regiments only are to turn upon their centres, while the 
heads of the front battalions are to close up to the front 
lines, then facing from the centre, gmarch out until they 
respectively gain the flanks of the front line. Should the 


attack be in front, the senior officer nearest the flank bat 
talion, will judge of the propriety of bringing up that bat 
talion to form on the flank of the front line. The 2nd 
battalions of Colonels Lewis and Allen s regiments, will 
in all cases close up, as the leading battalions shall advance 
and make room for them. Captain Garrard s troop form 
ing guard will also close up and act as circumstances may 

"Wm. H. Harrison, Maj. Gen. Com/ 

The army now marched in the following order. The 
17th United States regiment, Colonel Wells, and the rifle 
regiment, Colonel Allen, formed the right column, at the 
distance of two hundred yards from the road; Colonels 
Lewis and Scott s regiment, the left column, at the same 
distance from the road on the left. The wagons and pack 
horses were on the road in the centre. The horsemen from 
Ohio, under Colonel Adams formed the right flank, and the 
mounted riflemen from Kentucky, under Major Johnson, 
the left. A battalion from the former, commanded by Gen 
eral Lytle, acting as major, constituted the advance, while 
Captain Garrard s troop of horse from Kentucky, formed 
the rear guard. Spies were placed from half a mile to a 
mile in front, and also beyond the right and left flanks. 

The progress of the army now was slow, and there was 
very little water on their route. On the llth, Lieutenant 
Suggette, adjutant of Johnson s battalion, was sent with 
twenty men from that battalion to reconnoitre in advance. 
Logan and two other Shawanoes went with them as guides. 
They fell in with a party of Indians, who fled immediately, 
leaving a young Potawatamie chief mortally wounded. In 
the evening they returned to the army, and their little en 
counter, being the first that had occurred, had some effect 
in raising the spirits of the troops. As soon as the army 
had encamped this evening, the general, with his aides and 
the officer of the day, Colonel Allen, was careful to ride 


round to examine the ground and inspect the whole en 
campment, which without delay was strongly fortified \vjtli 
a breast work of logs, and the underbrush was cleared away 
for thirty paces on the outside. The mounted men en 
camped within the lines. During the night there were a 
number of alarms, caused by the Indians attempting to 
approach and examine the camp. The army was now with 
in twenty miles of Fort Wayne, at which it would be able 
to arrive the next day. 

Very early in the morning the whole were in motion, 
every man being prepared for action, and expecting to meet 
the Indians at a well-known swamp, about five miles on 
this side of the fort. As the army approached it, the horse 
men under Johnson and Adams were sent round it to the 
right and left. It was about a mile long, and three hun 
dred yards wide, except where the road crossed it, at which 
place it was not more than 100 yards wide. At this season, 
it was tolerably dry, and no enemy was to be seen, nor any 
appearance of one except a recent encampment, immed 
iately beyond the swamp. About a mile farther a single 
Indian was seen and fired upon, which caused the army to 
form the line of battle, but no others appearing the march 
was resumed, and about two hours before sunset, the troops 
arrived at the fort. Their arrival was the source of no 
little joy to the garrison, and the people who had taken 
refuge in the fort, The Indians had fled, most of them on 
the evening before, and some only a few minutes before the 
appearance of the army. They were pursued by the Ohio 
horsemen, but without success. The fort had been closely 
invested for ten or twelve days by the Indians, who had 
made several pieces of wooden cannon, by boring out pieces 
of timber, and strengthening them with iron hoops. The 
army encamped round the fort, where a feAV days previous 
there had been a handsome little village ; but it was now in 


ruins, having been burnt down by the Indians, together 
with the United States factory, which had been erected to 
furnish the ungrateful wretches with farming utensils. 

Until the 1st of September, the savages about the fort 
had professed friendship, with a view to get possession of it 
by some stratagem. Captain Rhea, who commanded, was 
addicted to intoxication, for which and his other miscon 
duct he was arrested by General Harrison; but on account 
of his age he was permitted to resign. The fort was \vell 
prepared to resist a siege by Indians, as it had plenty of 
provisions and water, and about seventy men with four 
small field pieces. It is delightfully situated on an emi 
nence on the south bank of the Miami of the Lake, immed 
iately below the formation of that river by the junction of 
the St. Marys from the southwest with the St. Josephs from 
the north. It is well constructed of block houses and 
picketing, but could not resist a British force, as there are 
several eminences on the south side, from which it could 
be commanded by a six or nine pounder. 

This is the place, where the Miami Indians formerly 
had their principal town; and here many an unfortunate 
prisoner suffered death by burning at the stake. It was 
here also, that General Harmer suffered his army to be cut 
up and defeated in detachments after he had burnt the town 
in the fall of the year 1700. F or more than a century be 
fore that time, it had been the principal place of rendez 
vous between the Indians of the lakes, and those of the 
Wabash and Illinois, and had been much resorted about the 
year 7 56 and previously, by French traders from Canada. 
The Miami is navigable for boats from this place to the 
Lake, and the portage to the nearest navigable branch of 
the Wabash, is but seven or eight miles, through a level 
marshy prairie, from which the water runs both to the 
Wabash and Sfc. Marys. A canal at some future day will 


unite these rivers, and thus render a town at Fort 
as formerly, the most considerable place in all that country. 
The corn which had been cultivated in the fields by the 
villagers, was nearly all destroyed by the Indians ; the re 
mains served as forage for the mounted corps. Captain 
Wells, who was massacred at Chicago, had a handsome 
farm in the forks of the river, with some good buildings, 
which were all destroyed in the general devastation. 

On the day after the arrival of the army, reconnoitering 
parties were sent out in every direction, and at the same 
time a council of field officers was convened, in which it 
was determined, agreeably to plans submitted by General 
Harrison, to divide the army into two divisions, and march 
on the next day in quest of the Indians and their towns. 
The first division was composed of the regiments of Lewis 
and Allen, and Captain Garrard s troops of horse, under 
General Payne and accompanied by General Harrison. 
They were to destroy the Miami villages at the forks of the 
W abash, about thirty miles from the fort. The other 
division was to destroy the Potawatamie village on the Elk 
Hart river, a branch of the St. Josephs of Lake Michigan. 
It was to be commanded by Colonel Wells, and to consist of 
one battalion under Johnson, and the mounted men from 
Ohio, under Adams. The greater part of the latter corps, 
however, returned home next morning. They had left 
their homes in the expectation of remaining but a short 
period in service, and had already exceeded the time which 
they had allowed themselves for the excursion. When 
General Harrison was informed of the intention of the 
corps to return, he addressed them in a public speech, in 
which he requested them to remain with him, and march 
on the intended expedition. General Lytle and Major 
Dunlap with 150 men determined to stay all the others 
adhered to their determination to return. The main ob- 


ject, which the general expected to accomplish by the pro 
posed expeditions, was to destroy the corn of the Indians 
so that they could not find the means of subsistence for 
making another attack on the fort. 

The party under Payne, having traversed a fine region 
of country, arrived on the 15th at the village in the forks, 
which was abandoned by the Indians. They encamped in 
the town, destroyed all its huts and cabins, and cut up the 
corn and other vegetables in the fields. Next day the 
spies discovered several other deserted villages lower down, 
which w^ere all in like manner destroyed. The toinb of a 
chief, built of logs and daubed with clay, was found in one 
of these villages. He was laid on his blanket, with his gun 
and his pipe by his side, and a small tin pan on his breast, 
containing a wooden spoon, and a number of earrings and 
broaches all deemed necessary no doubt on his journey to 
the other world. On the 18th they arrived again at the 
fort, without having lost a man or seen a living Indian. 

The party under Wells had to march about sixty miles 
to the village against which they were sent. Captain 
Audrain, who was son-in-law, and Mr. Wells, who was son 
to the colonel, went with them as guides; and Captain 
Arnold s company marched at the distance of near a mile 
in front to act as spies. On the 16th, having crossed the 
Elk Hart river, above the village about three miles, the line 
of battle was formed on a plain, thinly timbered. Major 
Johnson s mounted battalion was placed in front on the left 
flank, and Major Dunlap s mounted men on the right in 
front; with orders to advance to the right and left of the 
town and surround it. The infantry were formed in line 
of battle, then broke off by heads of companies, and fol 
lowed the others in rapid motion. In a few minutes the 
mounted men were in the rear of the village, but to the 
regret of every person it was found destitute of inhabitants, 


the Indians having fled two days previous. They had left 
a considerable quantity of corn, gathered and laid on scaf 
folds to dry, with abundance of beans, potatoes and other 
vegetables, which furnished ample store of provisions for 
the men and forage for the horses. This village was called 
Five Medals, from a chief of that name who made it his 
residence. On a pole before the door of that chief, a red 
flag was hung, with a broom tied above it, and on another 
pole at the tomb of an old woman, a white flag was flying. 
The body of the old woman Avas entire, sitting upright with 
her face towards the east, and a basket beside her, contain 
ing trinkets, such as owl and hawk bills and claws, a 
variety of bones, and bunches of roots tied together ; all of 
which indicated that she had been revered as a sorceress, 
and probably a doctress. 

In one of the huts was found a morning report of one of 
Hull s captains also a Liberty Hall newspaper, printed 
at Cincinnati, containing an account of General Harrison s 
army. Several coarse bags, which appeared to have con 
tained shot, and pieces of boxes with London and Maiden 
printed on them, were also picked up in the cabins, which 
proved that these Indians were intimately connected with 
the British, and had been furnished with information by 
some traitor in our own country. The village with about 
seventy acres of corn was totally destroyed, and on the 
same evening the army returned as far as the Elk Hart 
river. Next morning they marched rapidly toward the 
fort, Captain Arnold s company being thrown in the rear, 
to act as a guard, and to bring up the weak, the sick, and 
the lame. This was an arduous task, for the men having 
marched very hard, and having been very scarce of pro 
visions, except the green vegetables taken in the village, 
were exceedingly fatigued, and many of them were taken 
sick, one of whom died on the return. When the foot 


troops gave out through fatigue, they were aided by the 
horsemen, who cheerfully dismounted to assist their fellow 
soldiers. On the 18th the main body arrived at the fort a 
few hours after the party under Payne. 

In the meantime Colonel Simrall had arrived at the fort 
on the 17th, with his regiment of dragoons, armed with 
muskets, 320 strong, (and a company of mounted riflemen 
under Colonel Farrow, from Montgomery county, Ken 
tucky). General Harrison sent them on the evening of the 
18th to the town of Little Turtle, about twenty miles to 
the northwest, with orders to destroy it all, except the 
buildings erected by the United States for the Little Turtle, 
whose friendship for the Americans after the treaty of 
Greenville, had contributed greatly to tbe perservation of 
peace. Colonel Simrall executed his orders with a degree 
of promptness and dispatch, which indicated the true sol 
dier, and on the 19th he returned in the evening to the Fort. 
Captain Farrow s company was now placed under Major 
Johnson, whose battalion was thus rendered about 250 

Brigadier General James Winchester now arrived to 
take command of the first troops, which had marched from 
Kentucky to reinforce the northwestern army. He, too, 
had been a revolutionary officer, and was now advanced in 
years. He was a wealthy citizen of Tennessee, where he 
had lived many years in a degree of elegant luxury and ease, 
which was not calculated to season him for a northern 
campaign in the forest. His arrival produced much un 
easiness among the troops, being a regular officer, with 
whom they were unacquainted, many of the militia seemed 
disposed not to be commanded by him; and General Har 
rison with the field officers had to exert all their influence 
to reconcile the army to the change. The troops had con 
fidently expected, that General Harrison would be con- 


firmed in the command, and by this time he had completely 
secured the confidence of every soldier in the army. He 
was affable and courteous in his manners, and indefatig 
able in his attention to every branch of business. His sol 
diers seemed to anticipate the wishes of their general ; it 
was only necessary to be known that he wished something 
done, and all were anxious to risk their lives in its accom 
plishment. His men would have fought better and suffered 
more with him, than with any other general in America; 
and whatever might have been the merits of General Win 
chester, it was certainly an unfortunate arrangement which 
transferred the command to him at this moment. It is ab 
solutely necessary that militia soldiers should have great 
confidence in their general, if they are required, either to 
obey with promptness, or to fight with bravery. The men 
were at last reconciled to march under Winchester, but 
with a confident belief, that Harrison would yet be rein 
stated in the command; and which accordingly was done, 
as soon as the war department was informed of his appoint 
ment in the Kentucky troops, and his popularity in the 
western country. 

On the 19th the command of the troops at the Fort was 
transferred by a general order to Winchester; and at the 
same time he was informed by General Harrison that any 
other part of the infantry which he might deem necessary 
to the execution of his plans, should be placed at his dis 
posal. On the same evening, General Harrison turned 
back to take command of the forces collecting in the rear ; 
and to prepare for a mounted expedition against Detroit. 
He intended to make a coup de main on that place, with a 
mounted force which would march by an unfrequented 
route from Fort Wayne, up the St. Josephs to the head 
waters of the river Raisin. The troops collecting in the 
rear, were the three regiments from Kentucky, under Bar- 


bee, Poague and Jennings ; and three companies of mounted 
riflemen from the same State, under Captains Roper, Bacon 
and Clarke; and also a corps of mounted men from Ohio, 
who was rendezvoused at Dayton on the 15th, in pursuance 
of a previous call by Meigs and Harrison, which had been 
made early in September, with a view to employ them in an 
expedition against some of the Indian towns. This corps 
was commanded by Colonel Findley, who had entered the 
service again, after being surrendered by Hull. The 
mounted men and the regiment of Jennings had arrived at 
St. Marys, where General Harrison met them on the 20th, 
the rest of the infantry being still farther in the rear. The 
general had left orders at Fort Wayne for Johnson s bat 
talion, and Colonel Simrall s dragoons, which corps were 
not included in Winchester s command, to return to St. 
Marys as soon as possible. Major Johnson had according 
ly marched early on the morning of the 20th, and when he 
had travelled about twenty miles was met by orders from 
Harrison to return to the fort, and wait with the dragoons 
for further orders, which was promptly done, with the 
exception of Ensign William Holton, and about 25 men, of 
Captain Ward s company. They refused to obey the order 
to return, and manfully proceeded home to Kentucky. The 
battalion arrived at the fort in the evening next day, from 
which in the meantime General Winchester had removed 
his camp into the forks of the river, and early on the 22nd 
he marched down the river on the north side, following very 
nearly the route in which Wayne s army returned after the 
battle of 94. His object was to go as far as the old fort 
Defiance, at the mouth of the Auglaize, and wait there to 
form a junction with the infantry in the rear, who were 
to come down that river from St. Marys. The following 
order was issued by the general, which will serve as a speci 
men of his tactics and police : 


"The front guard in three lines, two deep in the road, 
and in Indian files on the flanks at distance of fifty and 
one hundred yards, as the ground will admit. A fatigue 
party to consist of one captain, one ensign, two sergeants, 
and two corporals with fifty men, will follow the front 
guard for the purpose of opening the road. The remainder 
of the infantry to march on the flanks in the following or 
der: Colonels Wells and Allen s regiments on the right, 
and Lewis and Scott s on the left. The general and brigade 
baggage, commissaries and quartermaster s stores, immed 
iately in the rear of the fatigue party. The cavalry in the 
following order: Captain Garrard and twenty men to pre 
cede the guard in front, and equally divided at the head of 
each line; the lieutenant and eighteen men in the rear of the 
whole army and baggage ; the balance of the cavalry equally 
divided on the flanks or the flank lines. The regimental 
baggage wagons will fall according to the respective ranks 
of the commanding officers. The officers commanding corps 
previous to their marching will examine carefully the arms 
and ammunition of their respective corps, and see that they 
are in good order. They will also be particularly careful, 
that the men do not waste their cartridges. No loaded 
muskets are to be put in the wagons. One-half of the 
fatigue party is to work at a time and the others will carry 
their arms. The wagon master will attend to loading the 
wagons, and see that articles are put in, in good order, 
and that each wagon and team carry a reasonable load. 
The hour of march will be 9 :00 o clock this morning. The 
officer of the day is charged with this order. The line of 
battle will be the same as that of General Harrison in his 
last march to Fort Wayne. 

"James Winchester, Brig. Gen." 

As great caution was observed on the march, and. the 
camp strongly fortified every night, the army advanced 
very slowly, not exceeding five or six miles a day. Some 
Indians were seen, and there was considerable appearance 
of more being in the country around. A volunteer com 
pany of spies had been organized under Captain Ballard, 
and Lieutenant Harrison Munday of the rifle regiment, 


and Ensign Liggett of the 17th United States infantry. 
They generally marched in advance to reconnoitre the 
country. On the 25th Ensign Liggett obtained permis 
sion from his captain, to proceed as far as old Fort De 
fiance, at the mouth of the Auglaize on the south side of 
the Miami. Four men of M Cracken s company from 
Woodford, Kentucky, went with him. Late in the evening, 
while preparing something to eat, they were discovered by 
a Frenchman and eight Indians, who crept up and sur 
prised them with a call to surrender. They were positive 
ly assured, that they would not be hurt, and would be per 
mitted to wear their arms till they entered the British 
camp. On these conditions they surrendered; but the 
Indians and Frenchman, as they marched on, concerted 
in their own language, and executed the following plan, 
for their destruction. Five of the Indians, each having 
marked his victim, walked behind and on one side of the 
men, and at a given signal fired upon them. Four of them 
fell dead Liggett only escaped the first fire ; he sprung to 
a tree but wasi shot also while raising his gun to his face. 
Next day Captain Ballard, with a part of his company 
being in advance, discovered the dead bodies, and a party 
of Indians watching near them. He formed his men for 
action, with the Miami on his right; but not liking his 
position, and perceiving that the Indians were too strong 
for him, he fell back 200 yards, and formed in a stronger 
position. The enemy supposing he had fled, filed off from 
their right flank, intending to surround him on his left, 
and cut off his retreat. He heard them pass by on his left 
without discovering him, and then filed off by the left in 
their rear, and by a circuitous roiite arrived safe at the 

Lieutenant Munday, with another part of the spies 
presently happened at the same place, and discovering 


some Indians, who still remained there, formed his men 
and charged upon them, at the same time saluting them 
with their own yell. They fled precipitately, and Munday 
on discovering their superior numbers, took advantage of 
their panic to retreat himself. Next morning, the 27th, 
Captain Ballard, with the spies and Captain Garrard s 
troop of horse, accompanied by Major Woolfor, aide to 
the general, and some other volunteers, went forward to 
bury the dead. The Indians were still in ambush, but 
Captain Ballard expecting it, approached them in a dif 
ferent direction, so as to disconcert their plans. He 
attacked them with a brisk fire, and Captain Garrard im 
mediately ordered a charge, on which they lied in every 
direction, leaving trails of blood from their killed and 

These Indians were the advance of an army destined to 
attack Fort Wayne, and consisting of 200 regulars under 
Major Muir, witli four pieces of artillery, and about 1,000 
Indians, commanded by Elliott. They had brought their 
baggage and artillery by water to the old Fort Defiance, 
at the mouth of the Auglaize, where they had left their 
boats and were advancing up the south side of the Miami 
towards Fort Wayne. About the time that Liggett s 
party was massacred, quartermaster sergeant McCoy, of 
Scott s regiment, was taken by the Indians and carried to 
the British camp. He represented the strength of the 
army under Winchester much above the truth, and in 
formed them that another army as strong was expected 
clown immediately to join Winchester. Major Muir on 
receiving this intelligence, which agreed pretty well as to 
Winchester s force, with the reports of his spies, consid 
ered his situation as critical ; and on the defeat of his ad 
vance by Captain Ballard, in the morning of the 27th, he 
immediately retreated from his position twelve miles 


above the Auglaize, to the boats he had left at its mouth, 
and reembarked his baggage and artillery the same day. 
He then determined to give Winchester battle, relying if 
defeated on effecting a retreat in his boats. He selected 
an advantageous place for an attack, where Wayne s old 
trace crosses a creek on the north side of the Miami, about 
four miles above Defiance. But on inarching to the ground 
on the morning of the 28th, he found that about three- 
fourths of the Indians had abandoned the project. The 
news of another army coming down the Auglaize, and the 
leaving of the artillery in the boats, had frightened them 
to this conduct. Major Muir then immediately retreated 
down the river, to the distance of twenty miles the same 
day, leaving some mounted Indians to watch the move 
ments of his enemies. 

General Winchester had all this time received no cer 
tain information of the army thus opposed to him. On 
the morning of the 26th, Captain Hickman had volun 
teered to go on horseback with Riddle, an intelligent spy, 
well versed in Indian affairs, and reconnoitre the country 
down the river. They crossed the Miami to the south 
side, then crossed the country to the Auglaize, and des 
cended on the east side of that river to the Miami, which 
they recrossed about tAVO miles below the mouth of the 
former, and returned up the north side to the army. In 
this route, they had surrounded the enemy without having 
discovered him. In the first instance they had crossed the 
Miami above the army of the allies, and where they re- 
crossed it below, the Indians having traveled in a beaten 
path, and the regulars by water, the traces of a large force 
were not discoverable. However, the Indian sign which 
they had seen, combined with the conduct of the skirmish 
ing parties, convinced those experienced in such affairs, 


that a large body of the enemy was somewhere in the 

The camp was, therefore, strongly fortified on the night 
of the 27th, and the march was resumed next day under 
the expectation of meeting the enemy and having a battle. 
Presently the spies from each army met and fired at each 
other ; the line of battle was immediately formed ; but the 
enemy having disappeared, the march was again resumed. 
When the army had arrived within a few miles of the 
creek, at which Major Muir had prepared that morning 
to give it battle, a halt was called by General Winchester. 
He had learned that the passage of that creek would be an 
advantageous place, for the enemy to make an attack, and 
he determined to cross to the south side of the Miami. 
A ford being found, the army crossed over, and immediate 
ly the trail of the enemy with his artillery was discovered 
on the south side. An advantageous piece of ground was 
chosen for a camp, which was well fortified as usual. 
Spies were sent down to reconnoitre at the mouth of the 
Auglaize, but they returned without much information. 
They stated, that the brush was so thick about that place, 
and the sign of Indians so abundant, that it was unsafe 
for spies on foot to penetrate to the old fort. 

A council of war was now held. Some of the officers 
were for sending a detachment in purusit of the enemy, 
but a large majority were of opinion, that the enemy must 
have obtained correct information of the strength of the 
army, and have taken a decisive course, that if he intended 
to give us battle, he would do it without our forces being 
divided; and that if. he was unable to do this, he had no 
doubt retreated too far already to be overtaken. The 
general was of this opinion, and the council decided that 
several mounted parties should be sent out in different 
directions to search for the enemy ; and that an express at 


the same time should be sent to General Harrison to 
acquaint him with the situation of the army, and that its 
provisions were nearly exhausted. These measures were 
executed next morning. An express was sent to General 
Harrison, and four parties of spies were sent to recon 
noitre in different directions. The spies all returned in 
the course of the day, and from their reports no doubt re 
mained, but that the enemy had retreated. On the next 
day, the 30th of September, General Winchester moved 
his camp down the river, within a mile of Defiance, where 
he fortified himself again on a high bank of the Miami, 
and remained there several days, so destitute of provisions, 
that the men had to subsist on a very short allowance of 
the most indifferent beef. They continued, however, to 
do their duty as soldiers with promptitude and cheerful 
ness. On the first of October Colonel Lewis was detached 
with 380 men to discover with more certainty, whether 
the enemy had retreated quite out of the country. He 
crossed the Auglaize, and went down on the south side 
of the Miami seven or eight miles, and then crossed to the 
north side of that river, where he saw sufficient appear 
ances of a precipitate retreat, to convince him that the 
enemy was entirely gone. 

We must now recur to the operations of the troops col 
lecting in the rear. We left General Harrison on the 20th 
September, with the mounted men and Jenning s regiment 
at St. Marys, the balance of the infantry having not then 
arrived. The regiments of Colonels Barbee, Poague, and 
Jennings arrived at Newport early in September, with 
Colonel SimralFs dragoons, but they were detained some 
time before they could draw their arms, ammunition, and 
two month s pay in advance. The dragoons were obliged 
to arm themselves witli muskets, no swords and pistols 
having arrived. The government had ordered the neces- 


sary supplies, but their agents were inattentive and dila 
tory. Many articles of the first necessity had not yet left 
Philadelphia, from which place even the tent poles for the 
army were to be brought, so improvident were some of the 
arrangements for supplying and conducting the troops 
on the frontiers. One man only in Colonel SimralPs reg 
iment, and he was a substitute, refused to be armed with 
a musket. His comrades invited him to the water as usual, 
and having initiated him by baptism into the Legion of 
dishonor, he was permitted to retire from the toils of war. 
The foot regiments, having at last completed their arrange 
ments, proceeded to their destination, and had all arrived 
on the frontiers about the 20th of September. 

On the 21st, Colonel Jennings was ordered to proceed 
with his regiment across the St. Marys and down the 
Auglaize towards Defiance, to establish an intermediate 
post, and escort provisions to General Winchester. Hav 
ing advanced about 30 miles, he met w r ith considerable 
signs of Indians, and his spies having advanced to Fort 
Defiance and discovered the enemy there, he halted on the 
Auglaize, and commenced the building of block houses. 
Colonel Findley was sent with his mounted regiment, 350 
strong, to destroy the Ottawa towns on Blanch ard s fork 
of the Auglaize. About this time General Harrison re 
ceived a dispatch from the Avar department, directing him 
to join General Winchester with a part of the troops under 
his command. This order had been issued on the sup 
position, that Harrison had accepted the previous appoint 
ment, and was still in Kentucky. In his present situation 
he could not comply; but in order to further the views of 
the secretary, he immediately determined to place the 
regiments of Barbee and Jennings, and the quota of Ohio 
troops then in service, at the disposal of General Win 


General Harrison now proceeded to Piqua to expedite 
the supplies for the army, and mature his arrangements 
for the coup de main on Detroit. But there on the even 
ing of the 24th, he received another communication from 
the war department, dated on the 17th of September, 
which assigned him the command of the 8th military dis 
trict including the northwestern army. He was at the 
same time instructed, to provide for the security of the 
western frontiers, to retake Detroit with a view to the 
conquest of Upper Canada, to penetrate that country as 
far as the force under his command would justify him to 
proceed. He was advised, that every exertion was being 
made by the government, to furnish him with a train of 
artillery from Pittsburgh, and all other necessary supplies. 
The forces now under his command by order of the gov 
ernment, were estimated at ten thousand strong, including 
the whole in the State of Ohio and the different territories. 
The real number was much greater, in consequence of many 
mounted volunteers having entered the service for short 
periods unauthorized by the war department. But the 
services which he was required to perform, were in the 
opinion of old, experienced, and able officers, the most 
extensive and arduous, that ever had been required from 
any military commander in America. The endless num 
ber of posts and scattered settlements, which he was 
obliged to maintain and protect, against numerous and 
scattered bands of Indians, while he was contending with 
the difficulties almost insurmountable in the main expe 
dition against the enemy at Maiden, were sufficient to 
employ all the time, and talents, and resources, of th 
greatest military genius at the head of a well appointed 
army. His forces, however, were raw, undisciplined 
militia, which nothing but his address or Jackson s energy 
could render efficient. Chaos and misconduct reigned in 


every department, and particularly in that of the supplies, 
in which the best organization and arrangements were 
necessary, to meet the inconceivable difficulties which 
were to be surmounted in that line. He had excellent 
materials for an army in the Kentucky militia, bufc he had 
no time to spend in preparing them for the field the 
season for action was drawing to a close not a moment 
was to be lost in pushing on the campaign. 

He immediately digested the following plan for the 
march of the army towards Detroit, viz : the right column, 
to be composed of the Virginia and Pennsylvania troops, 
to rendezvous at Wooster, and proceed thence by Upper 
Sandusky to the rapids of the Miami ; the middle column, 
to consist of twelve hundred Ohio militia, to march from 
Urbana where they now were, by Fort M Arthur on Gen 
eral Hull s route to the Rapids; the left column, to be 
composed of the regulars under Wells, and four regiments 
of Kentucky volunteers, to proceed down the Auglaize 
and Miami from St. Marys and Defiance to the Rapids. 
The mounted men, under a proper officer selected to com 
mand them, were to proceed on the route, by which he had 
intended to make the coup de main on Detroit. That in 
tention, however, was now abandoned; for if they should 
take Detroit, as the infantry could not be ready to support 
them in it, they must leave it again to the aggravated fury 
of the Indians. The object, therefore, at present, was to 
sweep the western side of the strait and lake of the Indians, 
who were scattered from Brownstown to the Rapids, riot 
ing on the plunder of the farms which had been abandoned 
by their owners. 

The attention of the general was at the same time 
directed to the important subject of the supplies, the most 
difficult part of his business in the present campaign. On 
the 27th he dispatched an express to Pittsburgh, to order 


the artillery and supplies from that place to proceed to 
Georgetown on the Ohio, and thence by New Lisbon and 
Canton to Wooster. Such as the State of Ohio could fur 
nish cheaply, he preferred to procure in that country, as 
being the most convenient for a land transportation 
towards Detroit. The troops were nearly destitute of 
winter clothing; and as the prospect of obtaining an ade 
quate supply from the government, in due time, was not 
very flattering, an appeal had already been made on this 
subject by Shelby and Harrison, to the patriotism of the 
people of Kentucky, for voluntary contributions of cloth 
ing to the militia of that S tate. 

In the plan of the campaign, the rapids of the Miami 
were considered as the first object, upon which the forces 
were to advance from a military base, drawn along the 
hither edge of the swampy district from Upper Sandusky 
to St. Marys, by three lines of operations, commencing at 
St. Marys, Fort M Arthur, and Upper Sandusky, which 
places were to be the principal points of concentration and 
deposit, preparatory to a general advance and combination 
at the Rapids. 

"This, says Colonel Wood, of the engineers, was an ex 
cellent plan ; for by sending the corps different routes, 
with a view of concentrating somewhere in the neighbor 
hood of the enemy, the march of the army would not only 
be expedited, but the frontiers much more effectually pro 

St. Marys was intended to be the principal depot for 
provisions, and Upper Sandusky for the artillery and mili 
tary stores. That portion of the left wing which was now 
at Defiance, was to serve as a corps of observation ; and at 
that place provisions were also to be accumulated, pre 
paratory to the advance of that corps to occupy the Rapids, 
which was to take place when the artillery had reached 


Upper Sandusky, and the other military base ; and its 
arrival at the Rapids was to be the signal for a general 
advance with, the supplies on all the lines of operation. 
A corps of observation was also to be placed at Lower 
Sandusky, which with Defiance would form the extremi 
ties of a second base when the Rapids were occupied. By 
these arrangements the greater part of the troops would 
be kept within the bounds of the local contractors, con 
suming provisions brought forward at their expense, whilst 
all the energies of the quartermaster s department would 
be. employed in accumulating provisions at the principal 
depots, and providing the means to transport them through 
the swampy country to the positions taken in advance, 
and particularly to the Rapids of the Miami. 

Having digested these plans, General Harrison re 
turned again to St. Marys and dispatched Captain Hite 
to Fort Wayne, with orders for the horsemen under Col 
onel Simrall, and Major Johnson, to come to St. Marys as 
soon as possible. With such promptitude and celerity 
were these orders obeyed and executed, that the front of 
Johnson s battalion arrived at the St. Marys, a distance of 
63 miles, about 13 hours after the orders were received. 

While Simrall and Johnson were lying at Fort Wayne, 
on the 23d of September, six Miami Indians, headed by the 
Stone Eater and a nephew of Little Turtle s, and a French 
man named Langly, came to the fort, pretending that they 
wished to treat for peace. They said all the Miamies had 
collected at Mississiniway ; that they had searched for 
General Harrison towards Vincennes, and that hearing of 
his march to Fort Wayne, they had come there to meet him. 
Five of them were detained as hostages, and on the 26th 
the Stone Eater and Langly went to bring in the other 
chiefs of the tribe, which they promised to do in four days. 



The forces now at St. Marys amounted to near 3,000 
men. On the morning of the 30th, the companies of Cap 
tains Roper, Clarke and Bacon, were ordered to elect a 
major and form a battalion ; which associated with John 
son s would constitute a regiment and elect a colonel. 
Roper was elected major by the battalion, and R. M. John 
son was elected colonel by the regiment. Captain Arnold 
was elected major in the place of Johnson, and Lieutenant 
Ellison was elected to command Arnold s company. This 
new regiment, with Colonel Findley s from Ohio, now 
formed a brigade, which was placed under the command 
of Brigadier General Tupper, of Ohio, a gentleman about 
fifty years of age, of a respectable, soldierly appearance, 
who had been called into service with the balance of the 
detached militia of Ohio, which he had left at Urbana. 
This brigade was intended to march in a few days, on the 
expedition up the St. Josephs, to scour the country towards 
Detroit. But a few hours after it was organized, about 
12 o clock the same day, the express from General Win 
chester arrived, with the intelligence that his march had 
been much impeded by the Indians; and that on arriving 
near Defiance he discovered, that they were accompanied 
by British troops with some pieces of artillery. A few 
minutes afterwards an express arrived from Governor 
Meigs, with a letter from General Kelso, commanding a 
detachment of Pennsylvania troops on Lake Erie, contain 
ing information that on the 16th of September, 2,000 
Indians with some regulars and militia, and two pieces of 
artillery, had left Maiden on an expedition against Fort 

Orders were immediately issued for a forced march, 
three days provision were drawn, with ammunition and 
other necessaries, and in three hours all the forces at St. 
Marys were in motion to join Winchester, who was sup- 


posed to have met all the forces, which the allies could 
raise in Upper Canada. Early next day, the 1st of October, 
it began to rain very heavy, which soon made the roads 
very deep, and rendered the march uncomfortable and 
fatiguing. The horsemen at first marched on the flanks; 
but when the foot troops halted for dinner, the horsemen 
were pushed forward in front, and in the evening passed 
the camp of Colonel Jennings, where he had built a block 
house. The rain continued very heavy all night, the 
weather was very cold for that season, and as the troops 
had no tents, their situation was extremely disagreeable. 
General Harrison and his staff were similarly situated, and 
his patience and fortitude served as an example to encour 
age his men. Beech brush was the substitute for a bed, 
and answered the purpose of keeping the men out of the 
mud and water. 

The foot troops were halted at Fort Jennings; and 
General Harrison having met another express from Win 
chester on the evening of the 2nd, with information that 
the enemy had retreated, sent orders for Colonel Barbee 
to return with his regiment to St. Marys, and Colonel 
Poague to cut a road from Fort Jennings to Defiance. 
The mounted troops had continued their march in five 
lines. Their number was upwards of one thousand, which 
made a grand appearance in the woods. The information 
of the retreat of the enemy, had a very dispiriting effect 
on the minds of many of the men, who were anxious for a 
battle before their discharge, which could not be very dis 
tant now, as their terms of service would soon expire, and 
forage could not be procured much longer for so many 
horse. The general himself was not well pleased, when 
he discovered, that the intelligence sent to him had been 
much more alarming, that was authorized by the circum 
stances. He arrived in the evening at Winchester s camp; 


and the troops, having lain all night within three miles 
of the same place, proceeded early in the morning past the 
carnp, and went down to the point at the mouth of the 
Auglaize, where they encamped round the ruins of the 
old fort. 

A few pack horses, loaded with flour, arrived at Win 
chester s camp with General Harrison, which with the 
intelligence of his confirmation in the command was very 
gratifying to the troops. Their sufferings, however, had 
become so great, as to threaten serious consequences to the 
service, if they could not speedily be relieved. With a view 
to allay the uneasiness prevailing among them, on the 
next day after his arrival, he had all the troops paraded, 
when Colonel Allen and Major Hardin addressed them 
in very effecting terms, and portrayed in a lively manner, 
the confidence and expectations which this army had ex 
cited; and exhorted them to bear their privations with 
patience and fortitude. General Harrison then addressed 
them himself, as a father would his children. He ob 
served that his fame then theirs were identified ; and then 
proceeded to flatter their pride as Kentuckians. He 
affectingly asked them: 

"If you fellow soldiers from Kentucky, so famed for 
patriotism, refuse to bear the hardships incident to war, 
and to defend the rights of your insulted country, where 
shall I look for men who will go with me?" 

He then told them, that immense supplies were lying 
at St. Marys, to which was a direct opening, that rations 
would be forwarded with speed, that in the evening he 
expected a hundred beeves with more flour, that the gov 
ernment was doing its best to supply them, and that rein 
forcements were coming from Virginia and Pennsylvania, 
which would render the army very powerful. General 


Harrison was a very eloquent speaker, and on this occa 
sion his speech had a powerful effect on the troops. When 
it was finished, they rent the air with shouts of applause, 
and harmony with content again prevailed in the camp. 
General Harrison now selected a position for a new fort, 
about 80 yards up the Auglaize, above the ruins of the old 
one. A fatigue party of 250 men were detailed and placed 
under the command of Major Joseph Robb, for the pur 
pose of cutting timber for the necessary buildings. Gen 
eral Winchester also moved his camp from the Miami to 
the Auglaize about a mile from its mouth; and General 
Harrison, accompanied by Colonel Johnson, and his 
original battalion, composed of Johnson s, Ward s, and 
Ellison s companies, returned to St. Marys, where these 
troops were honorably discharged on^the 7th of October. 
Poague s regiment was directed, after cutting the road to 
Defiance, to return to the Ottawa old towns on the Aug 
laize, about twelve miles from St. Marys, and erect a fort 
at that place. 

The command of the left wing was now confided to 
General Winchester, who accepted it on the solicitation of 
General Harrison. His principal employment for the 
present was to be the transportation of supplies to De 
fiance for the main expedition. He was also instructed 
to occupy the Miami Rapids as speedily as possible for the 
purpose of securing a large quantity of corn, which had 
been raised at that place by the inhabitants, who had now 
fled to other settlements for safety. When this instruction 
was given, General Harrison expected he would be able in 
two weeks to complete the necessary supplies for advanc 
ing against Detroit, and with a view to hasten that result, 
he soon afterwards recommended to General Winchester, 
instead of going to the Rapids, to send two of his regiments 
back within the bounds of the contractors engagements, to 


prevent them from consuming the provisions carried in 

Before General Harrison left Defiance on the evening 
of the 4th, he ordered General Tupper to take the whole 
of the mounted men, who were now about 800 in number, 
and proceed next morning down the Miami as far as the 
Rapids, and still farther if he should there find it neces 
sary to disperse collections of the enemy, who were said 
to be rioting on the relics of General Hull s provisions, and 
on the corn of the citizens who had fled to the settlements 
for safety. He was to return by Defiance or Tawa towns 
on Blanchard s fork to St. Marys. When this order was 
issued, General Tupper s command was immediately sup 
plied with rations for 8 days, consisting chiefly of beef, 
but including all the flour in camp, which was cheerfully 
surrendered by the infantry in the hope, that on the in 
tended expedition the mounted men would do something 
valuable. An application afterwards made by Tupper to 
General Winchester for more ammunition, could not, how 
ever, be complied with. In the morning the march was not 
commenced according to orders, and about 12 o clock a 
party of Indians fired on three men immediately on the op 
posite bank of the Miami, one of whom they killed and 
scalped and then fled. The camp was considerably alarmed 
for a moment, and the troops were formed in order of bat 
tle. Presently small parties of horsemen began to cross 
the river to reconnoitre and pursue the enemy. Most of 
the horses were at grass up the Auglaize, and as fast as the 
owners could get them, these parties were formed and 
crossed over to engage in the pursuit. As no general 
orders were given, some confusion prevailed, every little 
squad pursuing its own views. Eight or ten different par 
ties had gone, mostly from Colonel SimralPs regiment, in 
one of whicli was the colonel himself, and Major M Dowell, 


of the same regiment, was ready to cross with fifty men, 
when General Tupper thought proper to order, that no 
more should leave the camp. He was apprehensive from 
the boldness of the Indians, that a large body might be 
lying near in ambush, who would attack the camp from 
some other quarter. Captain Young with only nine or ten 
men overtook the Indians, about 50 in number, having 
fired upon them he retreated, and meeting with no rein 
forcements, returned to camp. It was then too late in the 
evening to pursue them again with a stronger force. In 
the morning General Tupper sent Logan with six other In 
dians down the river to reconnoitre; Colonel Simrall in 
the meantime had prepared a strong party to renew the 
chase, and not long afterwards General Winchester ordered 
Tupper to commence his expedition towards the Rapids by 
pursuing those Indians. General Tupper alleged that he 
was waiting till his Indian spies should return, with infor 
mation of the route which the hostile Indians had taken. 
In the evening those spies arrived, with information that 
they had seen a party of the enemy, about 50 strong, ten 
miles down the river. General Winchester now sent for 
Tupper, and urged him again to proceed in the morning 
and disperse those Indians in his route. General Tupper 
replied, that he would prefer to go by the Ottawa towns, 
which had been destroyed by Colonel Findley, and follow 
the trace from that place to the Rapids. On this day about 
three hundred of the mounted riflemen, whose terms of 
service had expired, left the camp and returned home, dis 
satisfied with the conduct of Tupper, and alleging that 
their horses were unfit for the expedition. Next morning 
after an interview with Tupper, General Winchester di 
rected the regiment of Colonel Simrall to return to the set 
tlements in Ohio, for the purpose of recruiting their horses, 
and positive orders were then given to General Tupper to 


proceed on the expedition. Colonel Simrall, being con 
vinced that Tupper would still find some pretext to evade 
the execution of the order in a proper manner, now willing 
ly returned to the settlemens, having first given all his am 
munition to the other mounted men, by which their supply 
was rendered fully adequate to the service. The dragoons 
were six-month s men, and reliance being placed on them 
for services in a subsequent part of the campaign, it was 
thought best to let them retire and hold themselves in read 
iness to march, when the main expedition should be ready 
to move. The other mounted men had) volunteered for short 
periods, and were therefore ordered for the expedition 
under Tupper, as the only service they would have an op 
portunity to perform. But discontent and insubordination 
now began to be manifest among them. Some of the Ken- 
tuckians were not inclined to march under Tupper, unless 
accompanied by some field officer from Winchester s com 
mand. Colonel Allen, therefore, tendered his services to 
accompany general Tupper in any capacity he might choose 
to receive him. The offer was accepted but General Win 
chester, having misunderstood the nature of the arrange 
ment between them, issued an order directing Colonel Allen 
to take the command and march towards the Rapids. This 
caused a serious misunderstanding between the two gen 
erals. Colonel Allen, however, having informed General 
Winchester correctly on the subject, the order was imme 
diately rescinded. The greater part of the men having by 
this time refused to proceed directly to the Rapids, General 
Tupper marched them over the Auglaize, and proceeded to 
the Ottawa towns, where he professed to expect reinforce 
ments from Ohio. The whole of his troops, except about 
200, now refused to march towards the Rapids : he therefore 
proceeded by the most direct route to Urbana, and honor- 


ably discharged those only, who had been willing at all 
times to obey. 

Charges were soon afterwards exhibited against Tupper 
by General Winchester, for his conduct on this occasion, in 
consequence of which an arrest was ordered by General 
Harrison. The Ohio brigade, under Tupper, in the mean 
time had been advanced to Fort M Arthur on Hull s road, 
and when the officer went to serve the arrest, the general 
was- gone on an expedition of his own to the Rapids and 
as there was no officer in his brigade, who was qualified to 
succeed him in the command, it was deemed most prudent 
by the commander-in-chief to stay the prosecution for the 
present. A court of inquiry was afterwards demanded by 
General Tupper at Fort Meigs, when no person acquainted 
with these transactions was there he was, of course, hon 
orably acquitted. The failure, however, appears to have 
been caused chiefly by his want of energy and decision, and 
in some measure by the insubordination of the troops, pro 
ceeding from a want of confidence in their general, which 
will always produce this effect among militia. 

As General Harrison was returning from Defiance to 
St. Marys, he was informed by an express from Fort 
Wayne, that the Indians were collecting again at that place, 
and when he arrived at St. Marys, he found a corps of 500 
niounjted volunteers, who had come /there to join the 
mounted expedition to Detroit. They were commanded by 
Colonel Allen Trimble, and were dispatched to Fort Wayne 
with instructions to proceed again from that post against 
the White Pigeon s town, a Potawatamie village about (>0 
miles distant, on the headwaters of the St. Josephs of the 
Lake. When the colonel arrived at Fort Wayne, nearly 
one-half of his command refused to advance any farther 
he proceeded, however, with the balance, and destroyed two 
villages, and would have killed and captured the inhabi- 


tants, but for the treachery of one of his guides, who in 
tentionally apprised them of their danger. 

The Indian messengers, who had been sent from Fort 
Wayne to bring in the Miami chiefs from Mississiniway to 
hold a council, were now at St. Marys with a number of 
those chiefs. They came prepared either to deny or to pal 
liate their hostility, as circumstances might dictate. Find 
ing the general well informed respecting their conduct, they 
threw themselves on the mercy of the government, and 
agreed to abide the decision of the president. Five chiefs 
were named by General Harrison, which they agreed to 
send in to Piqua as hostages, till the pleasure of the presi 
dent could be known. 

General Harrison now proceeded by Piqua to Urbana, 
where some of the Ohio troops under General Tupper 
were stationed, and from that place to Franklinton, mak 
ing arrangements for expediting the march of the troops, 
and for hastening the requisite supplies and artillery. The 
troops under Winchester were now employed for some 
weeks in completing the new fort, which in honor of their 
commander was called F ort Winchester, and in making 
perogues and canoes 5 or 6 miles down the Miami. The 
regiment under Barbee, at St. Marys, completed a fort at 
that place and called it Fort Barbee. Poague s regiment 
built Fort Amanda on the Auglaize, about 12 miles from 
the former, and Colonel Jennings completed the fort at his 
encampment. These regiments were at the same time em 
ployed in constructing boats and canoes, and in escorting 
provisions to Defiance. General Harrison kept his head 
quarters for some time at Franklinton, forwarding provi 
sions and military stores towards Fort M Arthur and Up 
per Sandusky. To the former the Ohio troops at Urbana 
removed in the latter part of this month. The most dili 
gent exertions were thus making in every quarter to get 
ready for the main expedition against Maiden. 



We must leave the northwestern troops for a moment, 
making preparations for their advance towards Detroit to 
regain our lost territory, whilst we take a rapid glance at 
the military operations in the western territories. 

On the 3rd of September, a body of Indians, Kickapoos 
and Winebagoes, comprising men, women and children, 
assembled at Fort Harrison, where Captain Zachary Tay 
lor had the command. They wished to be admitted into 
the fort under the pretence of holding a council they also 
pretended to be in great want of provisions. Captain 
Taylor gave them something to eat, but as two young men 
had been killed on the preceding evening near the fort, he 
suspected their treachery and refused to admit them. They 
loitered about the fort, still professing to be friendly, till 
in the night of the 4th, when they set fire to one of the 
block houses. At the same time a large body of warriors, 
who had been lying in ambush, commenced a brisk fire, 
which was promptly returned by the garrison. As the 
house burned down, the Indians fired over the ruins into 
the fort, while Captain Taylor with great presence of mind, 
pulled down a cabin, and with its materials constructed a 



breastwork across the opening produced by the fire. The 
Indians made several desperate charges, in which they at 
tempted to fire the fort in other places, and to enter by the 
breach, but they were repulsed and defeated in every at 
tempt. So critical and alarming, however, was the situa 
tion of the garrison, that two of the men jumped over the 
picketting, preferring the chance to escape through .the 
ranks of the enemy, to the prospect of being burnt or mas 
sacred in the fort. One of them was killed and the other 
retreated back to the walls of the fort after being wounded, 
and concealed himself behind some old barrels till morn 
ing. At daylight the Indians retreated, but still hovered 
round the fort for seven or eight days. Captain Taylor 
then strengthened the work where the blockhouse had 
stood, and prepared himself for a regular siege. He had 
lost in this affair, but three killed and three or four 
wounded bat he had sustained a serious loss in the burn 
ing of the blockhouse. It contained his provisions, the 
loss of which now exposed his men to great sufferance for 
the want of food. Some corn which had been cultivated 
near the fort, was their only subsistence for several days. 
He immediately attempted to send an express to Vincennes 
with intelligence of the event, but it was several days be 
fore any person could escape through the Indians, and the 
messenger at last had to pass their encampment in the 

Captain Taylor merited and received much applause 
for the defence he made. His force did not exceed 50 men, 
one third of whom were sick, while the number of the enemy 
was comparatively very great, comprising all the forces 
they could raise in that quarter of the country. They had 
assembled with a determination to take the fort either by 
stratagem or force, and Captain Taylor, for his gallant 
resistance, was immediately brevetted a major. 


Exasperated to madness by the failure of their attempt 
on Fort Harrison, a considerable party of Indians now 
made an eruption into., the settlements on the Pigeon 
Roost fork of White river, where they barbarously mas 
sacred 21 of the inhabitants, many of them women and 
children. The children had their brains knocked out 
against trees, and one woman who was pregnant, was 
ripped open, and her unborn infant taken from her, and 
its brains knocked out. However, this was but a small mat 
ter "it amounted to no essential injury it was all for the 
best, as it was done by the disciples of the Wabash Prophet, 
who was in a close and holy alliance with George the Third, 
defender of the faith, and legitimate sovereign of Bible 
Society nation, which is the bulwark of our most holy reli 
gion." Yet it excited the indignation of the uncivilized 
republican infidels in the neighboring settlements of In 
diana and Kentucky, and several hundred men were col 
lected, and arrived at that place on the second day after 
the occurrence. The Indians by this time had fled beyond 
the reach of pursuit. Colonel Keiger, of Kentucky, how 
ever, with a small party who volunteered to go with him, 
followed their trail about sixty miles towards the Delaware 
towns at the head of White River. 

The regiments of Colonels Wilcox, Miller, and B arbour, 
of the Kentucky militia, were now on their march to Yin- 
cennes, but they did not arrive in time to meet the Indiana 
at Fort Harrison. Colonel Russell, being advised of its 
critical situation, collected some companies of rangers and 
Indiana militia, and by forced marches arrived there on 
the 13th, to the great joy of the garrison, who were in a 
starving condition. Several wagons with provisions were 
now ordered up to the fort, under an escort of 13 men 
commanded by Lieutenant Fairbanks, of the regulars. 
After Colonel Russell had met and passed this party on 


his return, they were surprised and literally cut to pieces 
by the Indians, two or three only escaping. Major M Gary 
with a battalion of Colonel Barbour s regiment, was at the 
same time on his way with provisions for the garrison, and 
being reinforced with some companies of Russell s rangers, 
they arrived in safety at the fort, having buried the man 
gled remains of the regulars on their way. 

In the Illinois and Missouri territories, many depreda 
tions had also been committed by the Indians. Governor 
Edwards, of the Illinois territory, had been very attentive 
to these matters. He had sent spies into the Indian coun 
try, by whom he had ascertained that they were greatly 
elated with their success and the prospect of driving the 
white people over the Ohio River, and were determined to 
carry on a desperate war against the frontiers in the month 
of September. To meet the emergency, he had called, under 
authority from the war department, on the governor of 
Kentucky, for a regiment of men, and Colonel Barbour s 
regiment had been ordered by Governor Shelby to march to 
Kaskaskia, but General Gibson, the acting Governor of 
Indiana, ordered it to Vincennes when F ort Harrison was 
in danger, conceiving that he was authorized to take such 
a step, as the lieutenant of Governor Harrison, who was 
commander-in-chief of all the forces in those territories. 
Governor Edwards, though deprived of this aid, made 
vigorous exertions to defend his settlements. He embodied 
a portion of the militia, which he held in readiness to act 
whenever danger might present. Several companies of 
rangers were also encamped on the Mississippi above St. 
Louis, and on the Illinois River. These troops served to 
keep the savages in check in those regions. 

The troops already mentioned, not having been deemed 
sufficient to prosecute the war in the western territories, 


the following address by Governor Shelby was published 
early in this month : 

"Frankfort, September 8, 1812. 
"Fellow-Citizens of Kentucky : 

"I have received information from his excellency, Gov 
ernor Harrison, commanding the army northwest of the 
Ohio, dated the 5th inst. at Piqua, that the British and In 
dians had besieged Fort Wayne and perhaps had taken it : 
that it was the object of the enemy to push on to Fort Har 
rison and Vincennes and he has required of me to leave 
nothing undone to relieve those places. In addition to 
this, information is also received, that the Indians have 
murdered twentj^-one persons not more than twenty miles 
north of the Ohio: and that a very extensive combination 
of savages, aided by the British from Canada, are momently 
expected on the frontier of Indiana and Illinois territories. 

"With this information before us and the requisition 
of Governor Harrison, that a number of mounted volun 
teers, be requested to march to the aid of our suffering fel 
low-citizens, it is hoped that it will rouse the spirit and in 
dignation of the freemen of Kentucky, and induce a suffi 
cient number of them to give their services to their coun 
try for a short period on this interesting occasion. 

"It is proposed to accept the service of such a number 
of mounted volunteers as may be adequate to the defence of 
the said territories: and if necessary, follow the enemy, 
and carry offensive war into their country, and lay waste 
their towns. 

"The volunteers will rendezvous at Louisville on the 
18th day of this month, with at least thirty days provi 
sions. The whole will be commanded by Major General 
Samuel Hopkins, an officer of great merit and experience. 
Should any company of volunteers not be able to rendez 
vous on the day appointed, they can follow on and join the 
army on their march. 

"Kentuckians : ever pre-eminent for their patriotism, 
bravery and good conduct, will, I am persuaded, on this 
occasion, give to the world a new evidence of their love for 
their country, and a determination, at every hazard, to 


rescue their fellowmen from the murders and devastations 
of a cruel and barbarous enemy. 

"Isaac Shelby." 

In compliance with this address, upwards of two thou 
sand mounted volunteers repaired to Louisville, the Red 
Banks, and other points of the Ohio, on their way to Vin- 
cennes. Such indeed was the excess of numbers that the 
governor turned back several hundreds at Louisville, and 
two companies from Bath and Montgomery under Cap 
tains Manifee and Coope, were stopped at Frankfort. At 
Louisville an old veteran, a volunteer in one of the com 
panies turned back after fretting a little at Ids fate, was 
heard to say by way of consolation : 

"Well, well, Kentucky has often glutted the market 
with hemp, flour, and tobacco, and now she had done it 
with volunteers." 

These troops began to arrive at Vincennes about the 
21st, and continued daily to arrive until the 2nd of Octo 
ber. Some difficulty was experienced in organizing them, 
in consequence of their arriving in this irregular manner. 
Four regiments, however, were formed, to be commanded 
by Colonels Samuel Caldwell, John Thomas, James Allen 
and Young Ewing. These regiments constituted two bri 
gades, the first to be commanded by General James Ray, 
of Mercer, an early adventurer, and the other to be com 
manded by General Jonathan Ramsey, of Livingston, Ken 
tucky. And a few days after these arrangements were 
made, another regiment was added under Colonel Samuel 
South, of Madison, George Walker, Esq., was appointed 
judge advocate; P. Butler, adjutant general; Majors Wil 
liam Trigg and W T . A. Lee, aides to General Hopkins; J. C. 
Breckinridge, secretary; and William Blair and Joseph 
Weisiger acted as volunteer aids. While the troops were 


collecting, General Hopkins was too unwell to attend to 
business in person, but his aides, and his quartermaster 
general, Colonel R. Taylor, of Frankfort, Kentucky, were 
indefatigable in their attention and exertions. 

A corps of 2,000 volunteer mounted riflemen being thus 
organized, and every practicable preparation for their 
march being made, the general-in-chief preceded to lead 
them earl} 7 in October against the enemy. He marched up 
to Fort Harrison, where some delay took place in perfect 
ing his arrangements, particularly in relation to the nec 
essary supplies, which were still very inadequate. 

Orders were given for drawing ten days rations, but 
many of the men did not get more flour than would last 
two days, though beef and bacon were plentiful. The army 
then crossed the Wabash and encamped a few miles from 
the river, where a council of all the officers was held, and 
the general informed them of his intention to march 
against the principal Kickapoo village situated on the 
waters of the Illinois River. His guides were examined in 
the council, and stated the distance to the village to be 85 
miles in a northwest direction. The plan of the general 
then received the unanimous approbation of his officers. 
The march was resumed, and after proceeding about 25 
miles to the northwest, a trail of Indians was discovered in 
the prairie, which led to the north. The army pursued it, 
and continued their march in that direction, and even 
northeast, for several days, frequently crossing trails of 
Indians which led to the westward. The want of provi 
sions and forage began to be severely felt by the men and 
their horses; and a strong suspicion began to prevail 
among the troops, that the guides either from ignorance or 
treachery were leading them astray. Some Indian huts 
and a council house were at last discovered, from which 
there were fresh trails leading to the west. But the guides 



still went to the north, averring that they knew the country 
well, and were now near the villages. Presently one of 
them announced that he had discovered a town with his 
spy-glass but on coming nearer, it proved to be nothing 
but a fire in the prairie. This produced chagrin and des 
pondence in the men, and greatly increased their suspicion 
of the guides. The general then turned their march to the 
west, declaring that he would act as guide himself. Next 
morning a council was called to consider the condition of 
the troops and the policy of further pursuit. After mature 
consideration, the council was unanimous, that in the 
present starving situation of both men and horses, with a 
very uncertain prospect of finding the enemy soon, it was 
most proper to abandon the pursuit and return. This de 
cision being made known through the camp, the men warm 
ly approved it and prepared for its execution. The gen 
eral, however, thought proper to issue an order, or at least 
a request, that the army should follow him one day longer 
in search of the enemy ; but when ready to march the men 
unanimously took the direction to Vincennes, notwith 
standing the remonstrances of their general officers. It 
has since been ascertained that the village was still 60 or 
70 miles further west. And thus through the lateness of 
the season, the scarcity of provisions, and the mistakes of 
the guides, the expedition entirely failed to its principal 
object, but by exhibiting a formidable force at a greater 
distance in the Indian country than any former army had 
proceeded, a serviceable impression was made on the fears 
of the enemy. Much crimination and recrimination hav 
ing passed between the general, his men and the citizens, 
in consequence of this failure, a court of inquiry was held 
on the general at his request which reported that not one 
of the charges or their specifications were supported by evi 
dence ; the greater number being expressly negatived by the 


evidence adduced on the part of the prosecution, and the 
whole of the charges clearly and fully refuted. The Court, 
therefore, acquitted the general, and gave as their opinion 
that his conduct merited the applause rather than the 
censure of his country. 

After the mounted men were discharged, and had left 
the frontiers, General Hopkins determined to conduct an 
expedition of infantry from Fort Harrison against the In 
dians on the Wabash. A corps of 1,250 men were accord 
ingly prepared for this service, consisting of the regiments 
of Kentucky militia, commanded by Colonels Barbour, 
Miller, and Wilcox, a small party of regulars under Major 
Z. Taylor, and about 50 rangers and spies on horseback, 
under Captains Beckers and Washburn. On the llth of 
November the march was commenced from Fort Harrison, 
and conducted with much caution up the east side of the 
Wabash. As the enemy had now been long apprised, and 
well informed, of the intended operations against them, it 
was deemed extremely probable that they would attempt 
to surprise the detachment, and to defeat it on its march, 
and that their arrangements for this would be chiefly made 
on the west side of the river, where the ground was the 
most favorable for such a scheme; hence, the route on the 
east side was preferred and cautiously pursued. The pro 
visions, forage, and military stores were embarked in seven 
boats, which were placed under the command of Colonel 
Barbour with a battalion of his regiment. The boats and 
the troops on land, generally encamped together at night, 
with a view to greater security. A rise of water in the 
Wabash from late rains, rendered the progress of the de 
tachment very slow, so that it was the 19th before they 
arrived at the Prophet s town. Several days were then 
spent in reconnoitering the country, and in destroying the 
neighboring evacuated villages, together with the corn and 


other resources which had been left about them. The 
Prophet s town containing at this time about 40 cabins; 
a Winebago village, four miles lower down, on Ponce Pas- 
su Creek, and near the W abash on the east side, containing 
about 40 houses also ; and a Kickapoo village on the west 
side, containing about 160 cabins; were all completely de 
stroyed. On the 21st a small party of Indians were dis 
covered on Ponce Passu Creek, seven miles east of the 
Prophet s town, who fired on a reconnoitering party and 
killed one soldier. On the next day Colonels Miller and 
Wilcox went out with a party of 60 mounted men, with a 
view to bury the man who had been killed, and to obtain 
more complete information respecting the enemy, but they 
fell into an ambuscade and lost 18 of their men in killed, 
wounded and missing. It was ascertained, however, that 
the Indians were encamped on the creek in considerable 
force. The general now determined to march against them 
in the morning, but a violent snow storm with an extreme 
degree of cold, which commenced in the night and contin 
ued till the evening of the next day, prevented him from 
moving until the morning of the 24th. On arriving at the 
creek it was found that the enemy had fled before the fall 
of snow. The position they had evacuated was as strong 
as nature could make it. Their camp was secured on the 
rear and flanks by a deep rapid stream, which run round 
them in a semi-circle; while their front was rendered in 
accessible by a bluff 100 feet high and nearly perpendicu 
lar, and which could be ascended at three places only by 
steep and difficult ravines. As the enemy would not de 
fend themselves in this place, it was evident they had de 
termined not to fight ; any further search for them in the 
wilderness by foot troops at this inclement season was 
therefore perfectly negatory. The general had determined 


to spend another week, at least, in endeavoring to find their 
camps, but this occurrence, together with 

"the shoeless, shirtless condition of the troops, now clad 
in the remnants of their summer clothes; a river full of 
ice; hills covered with snow; a rigid climate, and no cer 
tain point to which he could further direct his operations ;" 

now induced him with the unanimous advice of his officers, 
to return immediately to Vincennes. On this expedition 
the whole detachment behaved with the greatest propriety 
performing all their duties with promptitude and alac 
rity, and enduring many privations and hardships with 
cheerfulness and fortitude. Not a murmur nor complaint 
was heard. If the conduct and issue of the mounted ex 
pedition was disgraceful in some degree to our militia, 
their character for exemplary devotion to the common 
cause was retrieved by the good conduct of the infantry 
on this occasion. Another and more successful enterprise 
had also in the meantime been conducted against the In 
dians by Governor Edwards and Colonel Russell. 

About the time General Hopkins marched from Vin 
cennes with his mounted troops, Colonel Russell went with 
some rangers, and joined Governor Edwards with a party 
of regulars and militia, making altogether about 400 men, 
with which they penetrated into the Indian country still 
further to the northwest, intending to co-operate with Gen 
eral Hopkins on the Illinois River at Peoria, to which place 
the latter intended to conduct his expedition against the 
Kickapoos. They could hear nothing of the general, how 
ever, in that quarter, and being too weak to continue long 
by themselves at such a distance in the country of the ene 
my, they were obliged to make a stroke and retire. They 
accordingly proceeded against a considerable village of 
the enemy, about 20 miles above Peoria, and immediately 
at the head of the Peoria Lake. They succeeded in sur- 


prising its inhabitants, who immediately fled into a swamp, 
which lay between the town and the river. Our men pur 
sued them with impetuosity about three miles, frequently 
up to the waist in mud and water, nor ceased from pursuit 
until they had driven them over the Illinois River. Their 
loss was very great: upwards of 20 warriors were found 
dead, and many others must have been killed and over 
looked in the swamp, beside those who fell in the river and 
were carried away by the current. Our loss was four 
wounded none of them mortal. The town together with 
a large quantity of corn and other plunder was destroyed, 
and about 80 horses brought away by the retiring con 

We must now recur to the movements and transactions 
of the northwestern army, under the more immediate direc 
tion of the commander-in-chief. The troops moving on the 
line of operations, which passed from Delaware by Upper 
to Lower Sandusky, composed of the brigades from Vir 
ginia and Pennsylvania, and that of Perkins from Ohio, 
were now designated in general orders and commonly 
known as the right wing of the army: Tuppers brigade 
moving on Hull s road formed the centre division, and the 
Kentuckians under Winchester were styled the left wing. 

General Harrison continued his headquarters at Frank- 
linton and Delaware, and was chiefly employed in superin 
tending the supplies. Notwithstanding the failure of the 
intended expedition to the Rapids under Tupper, he still 
placed a high degree of confidence in the militia volun 
teers, of which his army was composed; but fearing that 
the extreme hardships and difficulties of the campaign 
might shake their firmness and evaporate their zeal, he 
thought it important to collect a body of men on whom he 
could fully rely in the most desperate circumstances. He 
therefore ordered, early in October, all the recruits of the 


regular army in the western States, to be marched to the 
frontiers. Those in Ohio to be commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel Campbell, and those of Tennessee by Colonel An 
derson, or some field officer of his regiment. 

The different corps of the army were now chiefly em 
ployed, for several months, in forwarding supplies on the 
different routes on which they had marched, or were des 
tined to march. The Virginia and Pennsylvania troops 
were employed in escorting the artillery and military stores 
towards Upper Sandusky; the Ohio troops conveyed pro 
visions from Manary s blockhouse, near the head of the Big 
Miami, twenty miles north of Urbana, to Forts McArthur 
and Finley on Hull s road; while the Kentuckians were 
traversing the swamps of St. Marys and the Auglaize, and 
descending those rivers in small craft, to carry provisions 
to Fort Winchester and the left wing. The difficulties of 
this business cannot be adequately exhibited in a cursory 
statement. The letters of the commander-in-chief, to the 
war department, at this period, were constantly filled with 
details on this subject. On the 22nd of October, he thus 
addressed the government: 

"I am not able to fix any period for the advance of the 
troops to Detroit. It is pretty evident that it cannot be 
done on proper principles, until the frost shall become so 
severe as to enable us to use the rivers and the margin of 
the lake for the transportation of the baggage on the ice. 
To get supplies forward, through a swampy wilderness of 
nearly 200 miles in wagons or on packhorses, which are to 
carry their own provisions, is absolutely impossible. 

"The object, however, can be accomplished by using the 
margin of the lake as above mentioned, if the troops are 
provided with warm clothing, and the winter is such as it 
commonly is in this climate. No species of supplies are 
calculated on being found in the Michigan territory. The 
farms upon the river Raisin, which might have afforded a 
quantity of forage, are nearly all broken up and destroyed. 


This article then, as well as the provisions for the men, is 
to be taken from this State a circumstance which must at 
once put to rest every idea for a land conveyance at this 
season since it would require at least two wagons with 
forage for each one that is loaded with provisions and 
other articles. 

"My present plan is, to occupy Sandusky and accumu 
late at that place as much provision and forage as possible, 
to be taken from thence upon slides to the river Raisin. 
At Defiance, Fort Jennings and St. Marys, boats and slides 
are preparing to take advantage of a rise of water or a fall 
of snow." 

He further states that lie had kept the troops from ad 
vancing, with a view to save the expense of supplying them 
at a greater distance, until the whole should be ready to 
move on the main expedition; and that the contractors 
had as yet done little or nothing toward making the de 
posits which he had urged them to accomplish. The prin 
ciple contractor had let out his contract for the northwest 
ern part of the State at a rate so low, that the subcontrac 
tors were unable to furnish the supplies and some of 
them, too, were characters on whom no reliance could be 
placed. The principle contractor, it was said, would make 
|100,000 by his contract for that State; yet lie was not 
disposed to make the least sacrifice of his own interests 
for the public good. 

The general proceeds to state in the same letter, that 
on account of the troops being kept in the interior, 

"Depredations by small parties of Indians may and 
will be made, but it is impossible that any considerable 
body can advance against the settlements, without being in 
danger of being intercepted on their retreat. I am per 
suaded that the Indians have done less mischief on the 
frontiers since the declaration of war than they did in the 
same time preceding it. It was suggested to me a feAv days 
ago by a member of Congress, that the possession of De- 


troit by the enemy would probably be the most effectual 
bar to the attainment of peace. If this was really the case, 
I would undertake to recover it with a detachment of the 
army at any time. A few hundred packhorses, with a drove 
of beeves, without artillery and heavy baggage, would sub 
sist the 1,500 or 2,000 men, which I would select for the 
purpose, until the balance of the army could arrive. But 
having in view offensive operations from Detroit, an ad 
vance of this sort would be premature and ultimately dis 

A few days after the letter was written, from which the 
above extracts are made, Harrison was informed by Gen 
erals Perkins and Beall, belonging to a detachment of Ohio 
militia under General Wads worth, in the northwestern 
parts of the State, that the opening of a road from a point 
near Mansfield to Lower Sandusky, in which they had been 
engaged by the orders of Governor Meigs, was forbidden by 
General Wadsworth; and that a road from Sandusky to 
the Rapids would be impassable unless causewayed for a 
distance of 15 miles. This information induced the gen 
eral to set out immediately to make a personal examination 
into the state of affairs in that quarter. He found Major 
General Wadsworth commanding 800 men, near the mouth 
of the river Huron, and 500 more under Brigadier General 
Beall near Mansfield. The two corps were consolidated, 
and placed under Brigadier General Perkins with orders 
to proceed to Lower Sandusky, and open a road thence to 
the Rapids, making the causeways required by the state of 
the country. He returned to his headquarters early in 
November; and about the 15th of the month, the Pennsyl 
vania troops with the artillery passed Mansfield, destined 
to meet the Virginia troops at Upper Sandusky. 

On the 15th of November General Harrison informed 
the war department that he did not think it safe to move 
from the Rapids until one million of rations had been ac- 


cumulated at that place. Considerable progress had now 
been made but he adds : 

"You can scarcely form an idea, sir, of the difficulty 
with which land transportation is effected north of the 
fortieth degree of latitude in this country. The country 
beyond that, is almost a continued swamp to the lakes. 
Where the streams run favorable to your course, a small 
strip of better ground is generally found, but in crossing 
from one river to another, the greater part of the way at 
this season is covered with water. Such is actually the 
situation of that space between the Sandusky and the 
Miami Rapids ; and from the best information I could ac 
quire, whilst I was at Huron, the road over it must be 
causewayed at least half the way." 

He further stated, that in the opinion of the quarter 
master it would require two teams, loaded with forage for 
their own subsistence, for every one employed in carrying 
the other articles from F ranklinton to Upper Sandusky, 
at which place it was necessary to accumulate, not only 
provisions for the men, but forage to serve at least two 
thousand horses and oxen, to be employed in advancing on 
the main expedition. The expenses of such transportation 
must, of course, be enormous. The intention of employing 
the dragoons on that expedition was for this reason 

About this time Major Hardin had passed between the 
left wing at Fort Winchester and the headquarters of the 
general while on the journey he wrote confidentially to 
Governor Shelby: 

"The late rains have rendered the roads desperate. I 
learn that this route is considered the best of the three, 
along which provisions are to be conveyed if so, I am cer 
tain that it is morally impossible to provision the army at 
Detroit by land. Indeed, such is the state of the road, that 
no wagon can take its own forage from Piqua to the 


Rapids. As for a water carriage, we could have it to the 
Rapids; but while the enenry commands the lake, we are 
there cut short. I therefore deem it impracticable to pene 
trate Canada from this quarter this season. 

"I know that it will be mortifying to Kentucky for this 
army to return without doing any thing but it is better 
to do that, than to attempt impossibilities. 1 wish to God 
the public mind were informed of our difficulties, and grad 
ually prepared for this course * * * . In my opinion, we 
should in this quarter disband all, but those sufficient for 
a strong frontier guard, and for convoys etc., and prepare 
for the next season." 

Having thus exhibited the inglorious labors and diffi 
culties, which this army had to encounter in procuring 
supplies, we will now with more pleasure recount some of 
its military movements and exploits. Early in November, 
General Tupper, who had previously marched his command 
from Urbana to the frontiers on Hull s road, sent his spy 
company, under Captain Hinkston, to reconnoitre at the 
Rapids. The Captain concealed his men on the southeast 
side of the river, where he had discovered a British and 
Indian encampment in the opposite bottom, which was an 
open prairie. Presently a British officer with a few In 
dians came over the river, and when they had advanced 
some distance from their boat, Captain Hinkston fired up 
on them, and took the officer prisoner. He was a captain 
by the name of Clarke. Having returned with him to Gen 
eral Tuppers camp, he informed the general that there 
were three or four hundred Indians and about 75 British 
at the Rapids, where they had come to carry off the corn, 
of which a considerable quantity still remained. General 
Tupper immediately prepared a strong detachment consist 
ing of six hundred and fifty men, who volunteered to go 
against the enemy. He notified General Winchester of the 
intended movement, and marched on the 10th from Fort 


M Arthur, with a light six pounder, and 5 days provisions, 
in the knapsacks of his men. The badness of the road 
obliged him to leave the six pounder at Hull s packsaddle 
blockhouse; and when he arrived at Portage River, 20 
miles from the Rapids, he sent his spies in advance to re 
connoitre. They met him in the evening, five miles on their 
return, with information that the enemy remained in the 
same position near the foot of the Rapids. The detach 
ment was now halted till near sunset, to avoid being dis 
covered by the allies, and then marched to a ford about 
two and a half miles above them. Here spies were again 
sent to ascertain their precise situation, who returned 
about nine o clock, with information that they were en 
camped in close order, and employed in singing and danc 
ing. Orders were now given to cross the river, with a view 
to attack them at the dawn of day. Colonel Stafford com 
manded a battalion on the left flank in single files ; Colonel 
Miller s regiment composed the right ; and Major Galloway 
commanded a battalion in reserve. In this order they in 
tended to cross the river and surround the enemy s camp. 
Special instructions were given to each officer, and every 
soldier, who did not feel willing to cross, had permission 
to shift for himself. The men were much fatigued, and the 
weather was very cold. General Tupper pushed into the 
water and crossed at the head of the first section. Th<* 
others attempted to cross in double files, with their arms 
locked together, and when nearly two hundred had gone 
over, the greater part of one section were washed off their 
feet, and lost their guns. The water was waist deep, and 
ran very swift. The few horses belonging to the detach 
ment were sent immediately to save the men, and happily 
succeeded in getting out the whole. An attempt was next 
made to cross on horses, but they being weak were also 
washed down, and the riders plunged into the current. 


Finding it impracticable to get the detachment over at this 
place, those who had succeeded recrossed, and the whole 
retired to the woods and encamped. 

Next morning, the 14th, General Tupper dispatched an 
express to General Winchester, stating his situation, and 
suggesting the propriety of a reinforcement, if one had not 
already been sent; at the same time remarking that he 
could not remain there longer than another day, unless he 
could receive a supply of provisions. He then sent his 
spies down the river in view of the enemy, with a design to 
decoy them over, but the Indians were not to be caught in 
this way. Only a few crossed, and they would not venture 
far on shore, which was open ground for half a mile. Fail 
ing in this project, the general marched the whole of his 
troops down in the woods, and showed the heads of his 
columns in the open ground. This alarmed the enemy con 
siderably. The squaws ran to the woods the British ran 
to their boats and escaped the Indians more brave than 
their allies, paraded and fired across the river, but without 
effect. The general then fell back, in hopes to entice them 
over, but he could neither induce them to cross nor scare 
them off without a fight like the British. At last he 
marched back towards his camp. Some Indians were seen, 
in the meantime, to mount their horses and ride up the 
river, and some of Tupper s men imprudently pursued a 
gang of hogs about half a mile from the main body, while 
some others went into an adjoining corn field to gather 
corn. The mounted Indians, having crossed the river, 
came upon the latter party and killed four of them, and 
then boldly charged on the left flank, but were repulsed. 
A large body at the same time crossed opposite the head 
of the column, where they were met by Major Bentley s bat 
talion, and driven back with some loss. A noted chief by 
the name of Split-Log was their commander. 


Late in the evening the detachment retreated, leaving 
accidentally in the camp a sick man who was unable to 
march, and who fell a prey to the tomahawk and scalping 

On the next morning, the 15th, the express arrived at 
Winchester s camp, with Tuppers request for a reinforce 
ment. A detachment of 450 men had already been organ 
ized, and marched that morning under the command of 
Colonel Lewis, to whom the information in Tupper s des 
patch was immediately forwarded. The colonel proceeded 
all day in a forced march down the north side of the river, 
and in the night dispatched Ensign Todd, quartermaster 
to the advance of the left wing, accompanied by five guides 
with instructions to proceed to General T upper on the 
other side of the river, and agree on some point, for a junc 
tion of the detachments on the north side early in the 
morning, with a view to attack the Indians in their en 
campment. At twelve o clock in the night, Todd reached 
Tupper s camp, and found that it had been abandoned, ap 
parently with much precipitation, as the fires were extinct, 
and two men were lying there tomahawked and scalped. He 
recrossed the river immediately and joined Colonel Lewis 
before day, who then retreated to Winchester s camp, under 
the impression that Tupper had been defeated. 

This movement to the Rapids by Tupper was sufficient 
ly bold and hazardous for a spirited soldier, but his conduct 
after his failure in attempting to cross the river is not to 
be commended. He should doubtless have retreated up the 
river to a place where he could cross, and have waited there 
for the reinforcement under Lewis. After sending for that 
reinforcement, he was surely blamable in breaking up his 
camp and retreating, without communicating to it any in 
telligence of such a movement. His men, however, behaved 
well, having acted bravely in every instance, except in re- 


treating, and having performed a severe march, 160 miles 
in all, on a road which was then a continued swamp the 
whole way. 

Though but little execution was done on this excursion, 
it frightened off the British without the corn they had come 
for, and alarmed the Indians sufficiently to induce them to 
fall back to the river Raisin. It probably had the effect, 
too, of saving the people of that place from massacre. 
These Indians had previously sent them the following mes 
sage, committed to writing by a British pen : 

"The Hurons and other tribes of Indians, assembled at 
the Miami Rapids, to the inhabitants of the river Raisin 
"Friends, listen you have always told us that you 
would give us any assistance in your power. We, therefore, 
as the enemy is approaching us within 25 miles, call upon 
you all to rise up and come here immediately, bringing 
your arms along with you. Should you fail at this time, 
we will not consider you in future as friends; and the con 
sequences may be very unpleasant. We are well convinced 
that you have no writing forbidding you to assist us. 
"We are your friends at present, 
"(Signed) Round Head, 


The appearance of Tupper s detachment, having sepa 
rated them from their British instigators, and alarmed 
them for their own safety, may have deterred them from 
the hostility threatened in this message. 

Shortly after this expedition by General Tupper to the 
Miami Rapids, a tragical adventure occurred in the left 
wing of the army, which merits to be minutely recorded. 
Captain James Logan, the Shawanoe chief, by the orders 
of General Harrison, proceeded with a small party of his 
tribe to reconnoitre in the direction of the Rapids. He met 
with a superior force of the enemy near that place, by which 
he was so closely pursued that his men were obliged to dis- 


perse for safety in their retreat. Logan, with two of his 
companions, Captain John and Bright Horn, arrived at 
General Winchester s camp, where he faithfully reported 
the incidents of the excursion. But there were certain per 
sons in the army who suspected his fidelity, and reproached 
him with being friendly, and with communicating intelli 
gence, to the enemy. The noble spirit of Logan could not 
endure the ungenerous charge. With the sensibility of a 
genuine soldier, he felt that his honor and fidelity should 
not only be pure and firm, but unsuspected. He did not, 
however, demand a court of inquiry following the natural 
dictates of a bold and generous spirit, he determined to 
prove by unequivocal deeds of valor and fidelity, that he 
was calumniated by his accusers. 

On the 22nd of November he proceeded the second time, 
accompanied only by the two persons named above, firmly 
resolved either to bring in a prisoner or a scalp, or to perish 
himself in the attempt. When he had gone about ten 
miles down the north side of the Miami, he met with a 
British officer, the eldest son of Colonel Elliot, accompan 
ied by 5 Indians. As the party was too strong for him, 
and he had no chance to escape, four of them being on 
horseback, he determined them under the disguise of friend 
ship for the British. He advanced with confident boldness, 
and a friendly deportment to the enemy but unfortunately 
one of them was Winemac, a celebrated Potawatamie chief, 
to whom the person and character of Captain Logan were 
perfectly well known. He persisted, however, in his first 
determination, and told them he was going to the Rapids to 
give information to the British. After conversing some 
time, he proceeded on his way, and Winemac with all his 
companions, turned and went with him. As they travelled 
on together, Winemac and his party closely watched the 
others, and when they had proceeded about 8 miles, he 


proposed to the British officer to seize them and tie them. 
The officer replied that they were completely in his power ; 
that if they attempted to run, they would be shot ; or fail 
ing in that, the horses could easily run them down. The 
consulation was overheard by Logan; he had previously 
intended to go on peaceably till night, then make his es 
cape, but he now formed the bold design of extricating 
himself by a combat with double his number. 

Having signified his resolution to his men, he com 
menced the attack by shooting down Winemac himself. 
The action lasted till they had. fired three rounds apiece, 
during which time Logan and his brave companions drove 
the enemy some distance, and separated them from their 
horses. By the first fire, both Winemac and Elliott fell; 
by the second a young Ottawa chief lost his life; and an 
other of the enemy was mortally wounded about the con 
clusion of the combat, at which time Logan himself, as he 
was stooping down, received a ball just below the breast 
bone; it ranged downwards and lodged under the skin on 
his back. In the meantime, Bright Horn was also wounded 
by a ball which passed through his thigh. As soon as 
Logan was shot, he ordered a retreat ; himself and Bright 
Horn, wounded as they were, jumped on the horses of the 
enemy and rode to Winchester s camp, a distance of 20 
miles, in 5 hours. Captain John taking the scalp of the 
Ottawa chief, also retreated in safety and arrived at the 
camp next morning. 

Logan had now rescued his character, as a brave and 
faithful soldier, from the obloquy, which had unjustly been 
thrown upon him. But he preserved his honor, at the ex 
pense of the next best gift of Heaven his life. His wound 
proved mortal. He lived two days in agony, which he bore 
with uncommon fortitude, and died with the utmost com 
posure and resignation. 



"More firmness and consummate bravery has seldom 
appeared on the military theatre/ says Winchester, in his 
letter to the commanding general. "He was buried with 
all the honors due to his rank, and with sorrow as sincerely 
and generally displayed, as I ever witnessed/ says Major 
Hardin, in a letter to Governor Shelby. 

His physiognomy was formed on the best model, and ex 
hibited the strongest marks of courage, intelligence, good 
humor and sincerity. It was said by the Indians that the 
British had offered one hundred and fifty dollars for his 
scalp. He had been very serviceable to our cause by acting 
as a guide and a spy. He had gone with General Hull to 
Detroit, and with the first Kentucky troops, who marched 
to the relief of Fort Wayne. 

Captain Logan had been taken prisoner by General 
Logan, of Kentucky, in the year of 1786, when he was a 
youth. The general on parting with him, had given him 
his name, which he retained to the end of his life. Before 
the treaty of Greenville, he had distinguished himself as a 
warrior, though still very young. His mother was a sister 
to the celebrated Tecumseh and the Prophet, He stated 
that in the summer, preceding his death, he had talked one 
whole night with Tecumseh, and endeavored to persuade 
him to remain at peace, while Tecumseh on the contrary 
endeavored to engage him in the war on the side of the 
British. His wife, when she was young, had also been 
taken prisoner by Colonel Hardin in 1789, and had re 
mained in the family till the treaty of Greenville. In the 
army he had formed an attachment for Major Hardin, the 
son of the colonel, and son-in-law of General Logan, and 
now requested him to see that the money due for his serv 
ices was faithfully paid to his family. He also requested 
that his family might be removed immediately to Kentucky 
and his children educated and brought up in the manner 


of the white people. He observed that he had killed a great 
chief, that the hostile Indians knew where his family lived, 
and that when he was gone, a few base fellows might creep 
up and destroy them. 

Major Hardin, having promised to do everything in his 
power, to have the wishes of his friend fulfilled, imme 
diately obtained permission the general, to proceed with 
Logan s little corps of Indians, to the village of Wapogh- 
conata, where his family resided. When they reached near 
the village, the scalp of the Ottawa chief was tied to a pole 
to be carried in triumph to the council house ; and Captain 
John, when they came in sight of the town, ordered the 
guns of the party to be fired in quick succession, on account 
of the death of Logan. A council of the chiefs was pres 
ently held, in which after consulting two or three days, 
they decided against sending the family of their departed 
hero to Kentucky. They appeared, however, to be fully 
sensible of the loss they had sustained, and were sincerely 
grieved for his death. 

About the time that Tupper s expedition to the Rapids 
was in execution, General Harrison determined to send an 
expedition of horsemen against the Miamies, assembled in 
the towns on the Mississiniway River, a branch of the 
Wabash. The reader will recollect that a deputation of 
chiefs from those Indians met General Harrison at St. 
Marys in October and sued for peace that they agreed to 
abide by the decision of the president, and in the meantime 
to send in five chiefs to be held as hostages. The president 
replied to the communication of the general on this sub 
ject, that as the disposition of the several tribes would be 
known best by himself, he must treat them as their conduct 
and the public interest might in his judgment require. The 
hostages were never sent in, and further information of 
their intended hostility was obtained. At the time of their 


peace mission, they were alarmed by the successful move 
ments, which had been made against other tribes from Fort 
Wayne, and by the formidable expedition which was pene 
trating their country under General Hopkins. But the 
failure of that expedition was soon afterwards known to 
them, and they determined to continue hostile. A white 
man by the name of William Conner, who had resided 
many years with the Delawares, and had a wife among 
them, but who was firmly attached to our cause in this war, 
was sent to the towns to watch the movements of the 
Mianiies. He visited the villages on the Mississiniway 
River, and was present at several of their councils. The 
question of war with the United States and union with the 
British was warmly debated, and there was much division 
among the chiefs, but the war party at last prevailed. The 
presence and intrigues of Tecumseh, and afterwards the 
retreat of General Hopkins, rendered them nearly unani 
mous for war. 

To avert the evils of their hostility was the object of the 
expedition against Mississiniway. 

"The situation of this town, as it regards one line of 
operations, even if the hostility of the inhabitants was less 
equivocal, would render a measure of this kind highly 
proper; but from the circumstance of General Hopkin s 
failure, it becomes indispensable. Relieved from the fears 
excited by the invasion of their country, the Indians from 
the upper part of the Illinois River, and to the south of 
Lake Michigan, will direct all their efforts against Fort 
Wayne, and the convoys which are to follow the left wing 
of the army. Mississiniway will be their rendezvous, where 
they will receive provisions and every assistance they may 
require for any hostile enterprise. From that place they 
can by their runners ascertain the period, at which every 
convoy may set out from St. Marys, and with certainty in 
tercept it on its way to the Miami Rapids. But that place 
being broken up, and the provisions destroyed, there will 


be nothing to subsist any body of Indians, nearer than the 
Potawatamie towns on the waters of the St. Josephs of the 
Lake." Harrison. 

The detachment was placed under the command of Lieu 
tenant Colonel Campbell, of the 19th regiment, and con 
sisted of Colonel Simrall s dragoons, a squadron of cavalry 
under Major Ball, Elliott s company of United States in 
fantry, Alexander s 12 months volunteer riflemen, and 
Butler s company of Pittsburgh volunteers all mounted 
and armed with muskets and rifles, and forming together 
a corps of 600 men. They inarched from Franklinton on 
the 25th of November, by the way of Dayton, to Greenville, 
which place they left on the 14th of December for the In 
dian town, distant about 80 miles; each man carrying ten 
days rations and as much forage as he could with con 
venience. The weather was extremely cold, and the ground 
hard frozen and covered with snow. On the evening of the 
third day, when the party was about 20 miles from their 
destination, a halt was called to take some refreshment and 
hold a council. It was determined in the council to march 
all night, and to attack the villages very early in the morn 
ing. When they had arrived in the night, within three 
miles of the first village, as the guides supposed, they halted 
again and waited till daylight, when the march was again 
resumed. Their progress was delayed a little by a difficult 
swamp, of which the guides were ignorant. Presently the 
front guard observed four Indians on horseback, who were 
pursued, and in a few minutes the first village was sur 
rounded. But many of the Indians had already escaped 
over the river, on which the village was built some who 
remained made a little resistance, but the greater part 
surrendered immediately. Those who had fled were pur 
sued by Captain Johnston, some of them killed and seven 
or eight captured. The result of the whole was eight war- 


riors killed and forty-two prisoners taken, consisting of 
men, women, and children. Colonel Campbell lost two men 
killed. In advancing upon the town, Colonel Simrall s 
regiment formed the left column, Major Ball s squadron 
the right, and the infantry the centre. The prisoners be 
ing placed under the infantry as a guard, and the huts be 
ing fired, the dragoons proceeded down the river three 
miles to the village of Silver Heels, and two other small 
towns ; which had all been abandoned by their inhabitants 
in confused precipitation. The towns were burnt, and all 
the property destroyed or brought away. When the dra 
goons returned to the first village, as the whole detachment 
was much fatigued, having been thirty-six hours on horse 
back, with little intermission, they determined to encamp 
till next day. Very little corn had been obtained, the 
greater part having been already consumed by the Indians, 
or hid in the ground. 

The encampment for the night was formed on the bank 
of the Mississiniway River, about 200 yards square. The 
infantry and riflemen were posted on the bank; Colonel 
SimralPs dragoons formed the left and half the rear line ; 
Major Ball s squadron formed the right and the rest of the 
rear. Major Ball being officer of the day, caused strong 
guards to be placed out, with small redoubts at each angle, 
at the distance of sixty yards, where a captain s guard with 
two sub-alterns were stationed. Beyond these at a similar 
distance, the sentinels were placed. During the night, the 
sentinels reported that they could perceive Indians round 
the camp examining it. A fire was also discovered down 
the river. From these appearances an attack was antici 
pated, and the men were raised and directed to have their 
arms in their hands, two hours before daylight. Reveille 
was beat, and Adjutant Payne summoned the field officers 
and captains to headquarters to consult about the future 


operations against the principal village, which was 12 
miles lower down the river. While the officers were in 
council, about half an hour before day, the Indians made a 
violent attack upon the rear right angle. The officers went 
to their posts, and in a moment the lines were formed and 
the fire of the enemy returned with effect. Captain Pierce, 
who commanded at the redoubt where the attack was made, 
bravely maintained his post till he was shot and toma 
hawked. His guard then retreated to the lines. The angle 
attacked was composed of Captain Garrard s right, and the 
left of Captain Hopkin s company, who resisted the onset 
with great firmness. In a few minutes the action became 
general along the right flank and a part of the rear. The 
spies together with the Pittsburgh Blues promptly rein 
forced the point assailed, and took their station on the left 
of Captain Hopkins. The action continued near an hour, 
and was gallantly supported by Major Ball s squadron, 
the reinforcements above named, and some of Captain 
Elliott s company. At daylight a gallant charge was made 
by Captain Trotter at the head of his troop, from the left 
of Ball s squadron, and by Captain Johnston with his 
company from the right, with a view to take the Indians in 
their flanks and rear. Captain Trotter s command attacked 
and dispersed a superior number of Indians, killing several 
of them in the encounter. During the attack the enem> 
several times advanced close to the lines, apparently deter 
mined to rescue the captives or perish in the attempt, but 
when daylight appeared and they were charged from the 
lines, they despaired of success and fled in every direction. 
They left about fifteen dead on the ground, besides what 
were thrown into the river and carried away. The loss on 
the part of the detachment was eight killed and 48 wounded, 
several of whom afterwards died. Captain Trotter and 
Lieutenant Hedges, Basey and Hickman were among the 


wounded. Lieutenant Waltz, of Markle s company of vol 
unteers, was killed like the gallant Spencer in the battle 
of Tippccanoe, he could not be induced to leave his post 
after he had received two wounds, one of which threatened 
the loss of his arm, but was mounting his horse to make a 
charge, when he was shot through the head. All the offi 
cers and soldiers engaged, with very few exceptions, be 
haved with great firmness and gallantry. Colonel Simrall 
was afterwards particularly commended in a general order 
for the excellent discipline of his regiment, which was 
deemed equal to that of any other in America. Colonel 
Campbell and Majors Ball and M Dowell were also ap 
plauded as excellent officers, besides many others of less 

As soon after the battle as the wounded could be dressed 
and litters made to carry them, the detachment commenced 
their return. Colonel Campbell had learned from a pris 
oner, that Tecumseh with six hundred warriors was but 
18 miles beloAv him; of course, it was not prudent to re 
main any longer, in the condition in which the battle had 
left him. Many of his men were already very much frost 
bitten ; and in the wilderness through which he had to re 
turn, there were many creeks and swamps, which would be 
rendered impassable by a thaw. His march was very slow- 
on account of the wounded and sick, and provisions soon 
became very scarce. But Captain Hite had been sent ex 
press to headquarters on the day after the battle, and a 
reinforcement of 90 men with provisions was immediately 
sent to meet the detachment. A strong breastwork was 
erected every night, and one-third of the men were placed 
on guard. When they arrived at Greenville, about 300 
were rendered unfit for duty by frost, sickness, and wounds. 
They deserve great credit for the firmness with which they 


endured such extraordinary hardships, as well as for their 
bravery and good conduct in battle. 

"But the character of this gallant detachment, exhibit 
ing as it did, perseverance, fortitude, and bravery, would, 
however, be incomplete, if in the midst of victory they had 
forgotten the feelings of humanity. It is with the sincer- 
est pleasure that the general has heard that the most punc 
tual obedience was paid at his orders in now only saving 
all the women and children, but in sparing all the warriors 
who ceased to resist; and that, even Avhen vigorously at 
tacked by the enemy, the claims of mercy prevailed over 
every sense of their own danger, and this heroic band re 
spected the lives of their prisoners. Let an account of 
murdered innocence be opened in the records of Heaven, 
against our enemies alone. The American soldier will fol 
low the example of his government, and the sword of the 
one will not be raised against the fallen and the helpless, 
nor the gold of the other be paid for the scalps of a mas 
sacred enemy. Harrison. 

The good effects of the expedition were soon felt. It let 
us know distinctly who were our friends and who were our 
enemies among the Indians. The Delaware tribe from 
White River and all others who were determined to remain 
at peace immediately accepted the invitation which had 
previously been given by the government, to come within 
the limits of the American frontiers. They were settled by 
the proper authority, about half way between Piqua and 
the Shawanoe village of Wapoghconata on the Auglaize. 
Soon after the return of the detachment to Dayton, so many 
of Colonel SimralFs regiment were found to be unfit for 
immediate service, and the intention of employing dragoons 
on the main expedition was so entirely abandoned that the 
general determined to disband them immediately they 
were accordingly discharged on the 10th day of January, 
and returned home from a service which had been hard in 
deed, but to them not less glorious than severe. 


We must now recur again to the toilsome preparations 
for the main expedition against Maiden, and the inglorious 
war which our troops were doomed to wage with the ele 
ments which opposed their progress with all the powers 
and majesty of mud. 

The troops composing the left wing under Winchester, 
when the season became severe, were exposed to many and 
great privations. They had left the greater part of their 
clothing in the first instance at Piqua, when marching to 
the relief of Fort Wayne, and suffered considerably before 
they received it again. But as the winter came, an addi 
tional supply of winter clothing became necessary. The 
government had ordered large supplies of this kind but 
there was in this stage of the war an immense difference 
between the ordering of supplies and delivering them on 
the frontiers. Harrison and Shelby had also appealed to 
the patriotism of the people of Kentucky for voluntary 
contributions, and a considerable quantity of clothing was 
in this way collected under the superintendence of Gover 
nor Shelby. The ladies of Kentucky were not wanting in 
such patriotic services as they had it in their power to 
render. Of the clothing thus collected, however, but very 
little reached the army before Christmas, and much of it 
was entirely lost, owing to the misconduct of wagoners and 
wagonmasters, and the insuperable difficulties of trans 

Soon after Fort Winchester was finished, the left wing 
moved over the river and encamped on the north bank, for 
the convenience of firewood. The situation being wet and 
disagreeable, they presently moved down to a second, and 
then to a third camp, six miles below the Auglaize. About 
the first of November they became extremely sickly. The 
typhus fever raged with violence, so that three or four 
Avould sometimes die in one day. Upwards of 300 were 


daily on the sick list, and so discouraging was the prospect 
of advancing, that about the first of December they were 
ordered to build huts for their accommodation. Many were 
so entirely destitute of shoes and other clothing that they 
must have frozen, if they had been obliged to march any 
distance. And sometimes the whole army would be for 
many days entirely without flour. 

All these privations were caused in a great measure by 
the difficulties of transportation. The roads were bad be 
yond description; none but those who have actually seen 
the state of the country seem ever to have formed a correct 
estimate of the difficulties to be encountered. The road 
from Loramie s blockhouse to the St. Marys, and thence to 
Defiance, was one continued swamp, kneedeep to the pack- 
horses and up to the hubs of the wagons. It was found 
impossible in some instances to get even the empty wagons 
along, and many were left sticking in the mire and ravines, 
the wagoners being glad to get off with the horses alive. 
Sometimes the quartermaster, taking advantage of a tem 
porary freeze, would send off a convoy of provisions, which 
would be swamped by a thaw before it reached its destina 
tion. These natural difficulties were also increased by a 
great deficiency of funds, and inadequacy of the other re 
sources which were requisite in the quartermaster s de 
partment. The only persons who could be procured to act 
as packhorse drivers, were generally the most worthless 
creatures in society, who took care neither of the horses 
nor the goods with which they were entrusted. The horses, 
of course, were soon broken down, and many of the packs 
lost. The teams hired to haul were also commonly valued 
so high on coming into service, that the owners were will 
ing to drive them to deviltry and death, with a view to get 
ting the price. In addition to this, no bills of lading were 
used, or accounts kept with the wagoners of course, each 


one had an opportunity to plunder the public without much 
risk of detection. We are, hence, not to wonder when such 
were the difficulties and the means of surmounting them, 
that supplies were not more rapidly accumulated at the 
various places of deposit. 

The following account will exhibit the difficulties of 
water transportation. About the first of December, Major 
Bodley, an enterprising officer, who was quartermaster of 
the Kentucky troops, made an attempt to send nearly 200 
barrels of flour down the St. Marys in perogues to the left 
wing below Defiance. Previous to this time the water had 
rarely been high enough to venture on a voyage in those 
small streams. The flour was now shipped in 15 or 20 
perogues and canoes, and placed under the command of 
Captain Jordon and Lieutenant Cardwell, with upwards 
20 men. They descended the river and arrived about a 
week afterwards at Shane s crossing, upwards of one hun 
dred miles by water, but only twenty by land from the 
place where they started. The river was so narrow, crooked, 
full of logs, and trees overhanging the banks that it was 
with great difficulty they could make any progress. And 
now in one freezing night they were completely icebound. 
Lieutenant Cardwell waded back through the ice and 
swamps to Fort Barbee, with intelligence of their situa 
tion. Major Bodley returned with him to the flour and of 
fered the men extra wages to cut through the ice and push 
forward; but having gained only one mile by two days 
labor, the project was abandoned, and a guard left with 
the flour. A few days before Christmas a temporary thaw 
took place, which enabled them with much difficulty and 
suffering to reach within a few miles of Fort Wayne, where 
they were again frozen up. They now abandoned the voy 
age and made sleds on which the men hauled the flour to 
the fort and left it there. 


In the meantime General Winchester s wing was suffer 
ing the greatest privations. Trusting to this attempt to 
convey supplies by water, the exertions by land were re 
laxed. From the 10th to the 22nd of this month, the camp 
was without flour, and for some time before they had only 
half rations. Poor beef and hickory roots were their whole 
subsistence. At the same time fevers and other diseases 
raged in almost every tent, in which the sick were exposed, 
not only to hunger, but to the inclemency of the season. 
The necessary vigilance of the general induced him to send 
out reconnoitering parties very frequently, which still fur 
ther exposed the men. Yet they disdained to murmur, OP 
to utter a thought derogaton 7 to the honor of their country. 
About the first of this month General Harrison had thought 
his supplies in such a state of forwardness that he could 
very soon concentrate his forces at the Rapids ; and had in 
structed General Winchester to proceed to that place as 
soon as he had provisions for a few weeks on hand but in 
the circumstances above described, his condition was very 
different from that which would authorize him to advance. 

The other divisions of the army had not been pushed out 
so far as the left wing, and, of course, had not to encounter 
such great privations. Their sufferings, however, were 
sufficiently great, and the difficulties of transportation 
with them may be understood from the details we have 
given in relation to the left wing. In the following ex 
tracts from a letter addressed to the war department by 
General Harrison, and dated on the 12th of December, at 
Delaware, the reader will find some notice of these diffi 
culties, together with a development of the views and plans 
of the commanding general at this stage of the campaign. 

"Since I had the honor to write on the * * * every ex 
ertion had been made, and every engine put into operation 
to procure and forward supplies for the army to the ad- 


vanced posts. The difficulties which have been, and which 
are still to be encountered in this business, are almost in 
superable; but they are opposed with unabated firmness 
and zeal. The greatest obstacle to our success is the want 
of forage, which for this line we are obliged to bring from 
the neighborhood of Chillicothe at an immense expense, 
which can scarcely be conceived. 

"I fear that the expenses of this army will greatly ex 
ceed the calculations of the government. The prodigious 
destruction of horses can only be conceived by those who 
have been accustomed to military operations in a wilder 
ness during the winter season. The fine teams which ar 
rived on the 10th inst. at Sandusky with the artillery are 
entirely worn down, and two trips from M Arthur s block 
house, our nearest deposit to the Rapids, will completely 
destroy a brigade of packhorses. 

"If there were not some important political reason, 
urging the recovery of the Michigan territory, and the cap 
ture of Maiden, as soon as those objects can possibly be 
effected ; and that to accomplish them a few weeks sooner, 
expense was to be disregarded, I should not hesitate to say 
that if a small proportion of the sums which will be ex 
pended in the quartermaster s department, in the active 
prosecution of the campaign during the winter, was de 
voted to obtaining the command of Lake Erie, the wishes 
of the government in their utmost extent, could be accom 
plished without difficulty in the months of April and May. 
Maiden, Detroit and Macinaw would fall in rapid succes 
sion. On the contrary, all that I can certainly promise to 
accomplish during the winter, unless the strait should af 
ford us a passage on the ice, is to recover Detroit. I must 
further observe, that no military man would think of re 
taining Detroit, Maiden being in possession of the enemy, 
unless his army was at least twice as strong as the dis 
posable force of the enemy. An army advancing to Detroit 
along a line of operation, passing so near the principal 
force of the enemy, as to allow them access to it whenever 
they think proper, must be covered by another army more 
considerable than the disposable force of the enemy. T 
mention this circumstance to show that the attack ought 


not to be directed against Detroit, but against Maiden, and 
that it depends upon the ice affording a safe passage across 
the strait, whether I shall be able to proceed in this way 
or not. Detroit is not tenable. Were I to take it without 
having it in my power to occupy the opposite shore, I 
should be under the necessity of hiding the army in the ad 
jacent swamp, to preserve it from the effects of the shot 
and shells, which the enemy would throw with impunity 
from the opposite shore. This result is so obvious to every 
man who has the least military information, that it ap 
pears to me extraordinary as any other part of General 
HulPs conduct, that he should choose to defend Detroit 
rather than attack Maiden. There is another circumstance, 
sir, which will claim attention. Admitting that Maiden 
and Detroit are both taken, Macinaw and St. Josephs will 
both remain in the hands of the enemy, until we can create 
a force capable of contending with the vessels, which the 
British have in Lake Michigan, and which they will be en 
abled to maintain there as long as the canoe route by Grand 
River and Lake Nississin shall remain open, and for six 
months after. 

"I have conceived it proper, sir, to lay these statements 
before you. If it should be asked why they were not made 
sooner I answer, that although I was always sensible that 
there were great difficulties to be encountered in the accom 
plishment of the wishes of the President, in relation to the 
recovery of Detroit, and the conquest of the adjacent part 
of Upper Canada in the manner proposed, I did not ma"ke 
sufficient allowance for the imbecility and inexperience of 
the public agents, and the villainy of the contractors. I am 
still, however, very far from believing that the original 
plan is impracticable. I believe on the contrary that it can 
be effected. And as I know that my personal fame is ma 
terially interested in its success in the manner first pro 
posed, my feelings are all engaged in opposition to any de 
lay. But I should illy deserve the confidence of the people 
or the President, if I were capable of being influenced by a 
private consideration, to withhold from the government 
any statement, which might throw light upon the opera 
tions of an army, the success of which is so important to 


the character as well as to the interests of the country. If 
it should be the determination to disregard expense and 
push on the operations of the army in the manner that 
they have been commenced, the President may rely on the 
exertions of the troops, which I shall employ in the final 
effort. I shall be disappointed, if I cannot select three or 
four thousand men from the army, Avho will do as much 
as the same number of men, in a similar state of discipline 
ever did. If the plan of acquiring the naval superiority 
upon the lakes, before the attempt is made on Maiden or 
Detroit, should be adopted, I would place fifteen hundred 
men in cantonments at the Miami Rapids ( Defiance would 
be better, if the troops had not advanced from thence) , re 
tain about one thousand more to be distributed in different 
garrisons, accumulate provisions at St. Marys, Tawa Town, 
Upper Sandusky, Cleveland, and Presque Isle, and em 
ploy the dragoons and mounted infantry in desultory ex 
peditions against the Indians. The villages south of Lake 
Michigan might be struck with effect by making a deposit 
of corn and provisions at Fort Wayne. 

"I am much disappointed in tlie artillery which ha 
been sent me. There are in all twenty-eight pieces, of 
which ten are sixes, and twelve-pounders the former are 
nearly useless. I had five before, and if I had a hundred, I 
should only take three or four with me. You will per 
ceive by the return of Captain Gratiot, which is enclosed, 
that all the carriages for the howitzers, and eight out of 
ten for the twelve-pounders, are unfit for use." 

Before the above letter was received at the war depart 
ment, Mr. Monroe had become the acting secretary, after 
the resignation of Doctor Eustis, and had written a long 
letter to General Harrison on the military affairs of the 
northwest. That letter was immediately answered by the 
general, and the correspondence on these subjects was con 
tinued througli several others, in which the prospects of the 
campaign and the proper measures to be pursued, were 
very comprehensively and ably discussed between the sec 
retary and the general The result of the whole was, that 


General Harrison was left to prosecute the campaign in 
pursuance of Ms own views; and the government deter 
mined to make the most active and vigorous exertions to 
obtain the command of the lake, which they expected to 
accomplish early in the spring. Positive instructions were 
given to the general on two points alone. He was ordered, 
in the event of entering Canada, to pledge the government 
to the inhabitants no further, than a promise of protection 
in their lives, liberty and property. He was also in 
structed not to make any transitory acquisitions, or to 
wrest any of their possessions from the enemy with tem 
porary views only, but to advance prepared to hold all the 
ground he could gain. He was told that the President 
was not so anxious to push on the expedition with rapidity, 
as to be well prepared to render permanent any acquisi 
tion that might be made. Some further extracts from this 
correspondence will be given, after we have detailed some 
of the movements, which took place about this time, as the 
different corps were advancing towards a concentration for 
the main expedition. 

Early in December a detachment of Perkins brigade 
arrived at Lower Sandusky, and repaired an old stockade 
which had been erected to protect an Indian store, formerly 
established at that place by the government, Soon after 
wards the whole of the brigade arrived at that post. On 
the 10th a battalion of Pennsylvanians reached Upper San- 
dusky with twenty-one pieces of artillery, which had been 
brought from Pittsburgh by Lieutenant Hukill. A regi 
ment of the same troops, and some companies of the Vir 
ginia brigade, were immediately sent after them by General 
Harrison to strengthen that important depot; and about 
the 20th he arrived himself and established his headquar 
ters at the same place. Whilst there, he received commun 
ications from Colonel Campbell, informing him of the re- 



suit of the expedition to Mississiniway, which induced him 
to return to Chillicothe, to concert with Governor Meigs 
another expedition to the same place, more effectually to 
subdue the Indians in that quarter. As lie was proceed 
ing again to the frontiers, he received at Franklinton the 
letter from Mr. Secretary Monroe mentioned above, from 
which the following is an extract: 

"At this distance, and with an imperfect knowledge 
of the actual state of things, it is impossible for the Presi 
dent to decide, satisfactorily to himself, or with advantage 
to the public, whether it is practicable for you to accom 
plish the objects of the expedition in their full extent dur 
ing the present winter. No person can be so competent 
to that decision as yourself; and the President has great 
confidence in the solidity of the opinion which you may 
form. He wishes you to weigh maturely this important 
subject, and take that part which your judgment may dic 
tate. It is expected that you will forthwith form a clear 
and distinct plan, as to the objects which you may deem 
attainable, the time within which they may be attained, 
and the force necessary for the purpose ; and that you com 
municate the same with precision to this department. As 
soon as you have formed this plan, you will proceed to 
execute it, without waiting for an answer ; and as the gov 
ernment is made acquainted with it, measures will be 
adopted to give your operations all the aid in its power." 

The following are extracts from the answers of Gen 
eral Harrison, which are dated on the 4th and 8th of Jan 
uary at Franklinton : 

"When I was directed to take command in the latter 
end of September, I thought it possible by great exertions 
to effect the objects of the campaign before the setting in 
of winter. I distinctly stated, however, to the secretary of 
war, that there was always a period of rainy weather in 
this country in the months of November and December, in 
which the roads within the settlements were almost im- 


passable ; and the swamps, which extend northwardly from 
about 40th degree of north latitude, entirely so; and that 
the circumstance would render it impossible to advance 
with the army before that period, without exposing it to 
inevitable destruction, unless a sufficiency of provisions 
could be taken on to subsist it until the severe frosts should 
remove the impediments to transportation. 

u The experience of a few days was sufficient to con 
vince me, that the supplies of provisions could not be pro 
cured for our autumnal advance; and even if this difficulty 
was removed, another of equal magnitude existed in the 
want of artillery. There remained then no alternative but 
to prepare for a winter campaign. But in order to take 
advantage of every circumstance in our favor, boats and 
perogues were prepared in considerable numbers on the 
Auglaize and St. Marys, in the hope that when the land 
transportation could not be used, we might by the means 
of these rivers, take on large supplies to the Rapids of the 
Miami. An effort was made also, to procure flour from 
Presque Isle by coasting the lake with small boats. These 
measures were calculated on, as collateral aids only. The 
more sure one of providing a large number of packhorses 
and ox teams were resorted to, and the deputy quarter 
master general, Colonel Morrison, was instructed accord 
ingly. Considering the Miami Rapids as the first point of 
destination provisions were ordered to be accumulated 
along a concave base, extending from St. Marys on the 
left, to the mouth of the Huron, and afterwards Lower 
Sandusky on the right. From this base the Rapids could 
be approached by three routes, or lines of operation, two 
of which were pretty effectually secured by the posts which 
were established and the positions taken upon the third. 
St. Marys, M Arthur blockhouse, and Upper Sandusky 
were selected as principle deposits. The troops, except 
ing those with General Winchester, were kept within the 
bounds of the local contractors, that they might not con 
sume the provisions procured by the United States com 
missaries, and which were intended to form the grand de 
posit at the Miami Rapids. It was not until late in Oc 
tober that much effect could be given to these arrange- 


ments; and for the six following weeks little or nothing 
could be done from the uncommonly unfavorable state of 
the weather, which afforded just rain enough to render 
the roads almost impassable for wagons, and not a suffi 
ciency to raise the waters to a navigable state. Great 
exertions, however, were made to prepare for the change, 
which might reasonably be expected. The last twenty 
days of December were entirely favorable to our views, 
and were so well employed by Colonel Morrison as to 
afford the most flattering prospect of being able to take on 
to the Rapids early in this month, a sufficiency of pro 
visions and stores to authorize an advance upon Maiden 
from the 25th inst. to the 10th of February. Our hopes 
were again a little checked by a general thaw, succeeded 
by a very deep snow whilst the ground was in that soft 
state. It is, however, cold again, and we calculate on being 
able to use with effect the sleds, a considerable number 
of which I had caused to be prepared. 

"The instruction which I received from Doctor Eustis, 
with regard to the conduct of the war in this department, 
amounted to a complete carte, blanche. The principle 
objects of the campaign were pointed out, and I was left 
at liberty to proceed to their full execution during the 
present winter, or to make arrangements for their accom 
plishment in the spring, by occupying such posts as might 
facilitate the intended operations. The wishes of the gov 
ernment to recover the ground which had been lost and to 
conquer Upper Canada, were, however, expressed in such 
strong terms and the funds which were placed at my dis 
posal were declared to be so ample if not unlimited, that 
I did not consider myself authorized to adopt the alterna 
tive of delay from any other motive than that of the safety 
of the army. My letters have contained frequent allusions 
to the monstrous expense, which would attend the opera 
tions of an army at this season of the year, penetrating to 
the enemy through an immense forest of one hundred and 
fifty miles. The silence of the secretary on the subject 
left me no room to doubt the correctness of the opinion 
which I had at first formed that the object in view was 
considered so important that expense was to be disre- 


garded. I thought it best, however, to come to a full under 
standing on the subject, and with this view my letter of 
the 12th ultimo from Delaware was written. 

"My plan of operations had been, and now is, to occupy 
the Miami Rapids, and to deposit there as much provisions 
as possible, to move from thence with a choice detachment 
of the army, and with as much provision, artillery and 
ammunition as the means of transportation will allow 
make a demonstration towards Detroit, and by a sudden 
passage of the strait upon the ice, an actual investiture 
of Maiden. 

"With regard to the amount of force, which such an 
expedition would require, I have made my calculations, 
not upon that which the enemy might have at Maiden, at 
the time the enterprise should commence, but upon what 
they would be able to assemble there with time enough to 
resist us. I know the facility with which troops may be 
brought at this season, by what is called the back route 
along the river Thames from the vicinity of Niagara to 
Detroit and Maiden. Had General Smyth s attempts 
been successful, my plan could have been executed with a 
much smaller force, than I should deem it prudent to em 
ploy under present circumstances. I have indeed no doubt, 
that we should encounter at Maiden the very troops which 
contended with General Van Ransalear on the heights of 
Queenstown. It is the same thing with regard to the In 
dians. The British have wisely dismissed the greater 
part of them to save their provisions, but a whistle will be 
almost sufficient to collect them again." 

He next states that if our force appeared weak, it would 
encourage the timid, the cautious and wavering among the 
Indians and Canadians, to take the field against us; and 
that if our means of transportation should not be suffi 
cient to carry all the supplies with us at once, very strong 
detachments would be required to escort the successive 
trips for, he continues : 

"Such is the nature of Indian warfare that it is impos 
sible to tell where the storm will fall. It is a rule, there- 


fore, with me when operating against them, never to make 
a detachment, neither to the front nor the rear, which is 
not able to contend with their whole force. From these 
statements you will perceive sir, how difficult it would be 
for me at present to ascertain with any degree of correct 
ness, the number of men with which I should advance from 
the Rapids. It was my intention to have assembled there, 
from 4,500 to 5,000 men, and to be governed by circum 
stances in forming the detachment with which I should 
advance. This is still my plan, and it was always my in 
tention to dismiss at that period, all that I deemed super 

The nominal amount of the army was ten thousand 
but the effective force was much less. 

"Notwithstanding the large nominal amount of the 
army under my command, their sufferings for the want of 
clothing and the rigor of the season reduces the effective 
number to less than two-thirds of the aggregate. You will 
read with as much pain as I write it, that a fine body of 
regular troops belonging to the 17th and 19th regiments 
under Colonel Wells, has been nearly destroyed for the 
want of clothing. The whole of the effective men upon 
this frontier does not exceed six thousand three hundred 

"Upon the whole sir, my reaching Maiden this winter 
depends upon circumstances which I cannot control the 
freezing of the strait in such a manner as to enable me to 
pass over the troops and artillery. 

"General Winchester is I hope now, or will be in a day 
or two at the Rapids. Provisions in large quantities are 
progressing thither. I calculate on being there myself by 
the 20th inst. with the troops which are intended for the 
march upon Maiden. In the event of occurrences which 
may induce a suspension of operations beyond the Rapids, 
measures will be taken to make and secure at that place 
a deposit of provisions equal to the support of the troops 
in any enterprise that may be undertaken in the spring. 
Should our offensive operations be suspended until that 
time, it is my decided opinion that the most effectual and 


cheapest plan will be to obtain the command of the lake. 
This being once effected every difficulty will be removed. 
An army of 4,000 men landed on the north side of the lake 
below Maiden, will soon reduce that place, retake Detroit, 
and with the aid of the fleet proceed down the lake to co 
operate with the army from Niagara." 

The secretary had written, that "The destruction of the 
Queen Charlotte, and of the whole of the naval force of 
the enemy, frozen up as it is presumed to be in the ice, 
would be an important attainment. It is one which is 
recommended to your particular attention." 

To which the general replied "The enterprise against 
the Queen Charlotte has been long mediated and shall not 
escape my attention." 

In the letter of the 8th he states : 

"A suspension of the operations of this army for the 
Avinter, without having accomplished the principle object 
for which it was embodied, is an event which has long been 
looked for, by most of the w r ell-informed men who know 
the character of the country, and recollect that the army 
of General Wayne after a whole summer s preparation, 
was unable to advance more than seventy miles from the 
Ohio, and that the prudent caution of President Washing 
ton had directed it to be placed in winter quarters at the 
very season that our arrangements were commenced. You 
do me justice in believing that my exertions have been un- 
remitted, and I am sensible of the commission of one error 
only, that has injuriously affected our interests; and that is 
in retaining too large a force at Defiance. The disad 
vantages attending it were, however, seen at the period of 
my committing the management of that wing to General 
Winchester. Possessing a superior rank in the line of the 
army to that which was tendered to me, I considered him 
rather in the light of an associate in command than an in 
ferior. I therefore, recommended to him, instead of order 
ing it, to send back two regiments within the bounds of 
White s contract. Had this measure been pursued, there 
would have been at Fort Winchester 100,000 rations more 
than there is at present. The general who possesses the 


most estimable qualities of the head and heart, was de 
ceived as I was, with regard to the period when the army 
could advance, and he did not think that the reduction of 
issues would be so important, as it is now ascertained it 
would have been." 

Instead of sending back any part of his command, Gen 
eral Winchester was constantly anxious, whenever he had a 
moderate supply of provisions on hand, to advance further 
and fix his camp at the Rapids. It was to obtain the 
sanction of General Harrison for such a movement that 
Major Hardin was dispatched to headquarters early in 
November, when he wrote the letter to Governor Shelby 
from which an extract has been given in this chapter. On 
the 12th of that month, General Winchester came to a 
positive determination to move his camp to the Rapids at 
every hazard but his advance was fortunately arrested 
by the timely arrival of a dispatch from General Harrison. 
In the letter from which we are making these extracts, 
the general proceeds : 

"As the greater part of the expenses of the campaign 
have already been incurred, I beg leave to assure you, sir, 
that trifling difficulties will not oppose the progress of the 
army at Maiden ; but at the same time I also promise you, 
that no measure shall be adopted but when the prospects 
of success are as clear as they can be in any military 

On the subject of obtaining the command of the lake, 
he wrote: 

"I have no means of estimating correctly the cost of a 
naval armament, capable of effecting this object, but from 
my knowledge of the expense of transporting supplies 
through a swampy wilderness, I do believe that the expense 
which will be incurred in six weeks in the spring, in an 
attempt to transport the provisions for the army along the 


road leading from the Rapids to Detroit, would build 
and equip the vessels for this purpose." 

By these copious extracts the reader is made well ac 
quainted, with the causes which have so long retarded the 
march of the army; with its present situation and re 
sources, and with the ulterior plans and prospects of the 
general for the present campaign. A few days after writ 
ing these letters, he arrived again at Upper Sandusky, to 
gether with the whole of the Pennsylvania brigades, making 
his effective force at that place about 1,500 strong. On 
the 12th the balance of the artillery also arrived : 

"A large quantity of every necessary supply was con 
stantly arriving, and the general appearance of the camp 
announced the near approach of that state of preparation, 
requisite to the commencement of active operations. Col 
onel Wood." 

Parties were sent on to open roads, bridge creeks, and 
pave the way for the army. Artillery had already been 
sent towards the Miami; and fine supplies of provisions 
and stores being on hand, it seemed that time, patience, 
perseverance, and fortitude alone were necessary to enable 
the army to remove the numerous obstacles and surmount 
the various difficulties which nature had opposed to its 
progress and its future glory. But we must in the next 
place direct our attention to the movements of the left 
wing under Winchester, for whose arrival at the Rapids 
the troops at Sandusky were now waiting, as the signal 
for their advance with all their supplies to the same place. 



General Harrison had expected, on the first arrival at 
Upper Sandusky, about the 18th of December, to be met 
there by an express from General Winchester, with infor 
mation of his advance to the Rapids, in conformity with the 
advice which had previously been given him. As no such 
information had arrived, he soon afterwards dispatched En- 
sign C. S. Todd, division judge advocate of the Kentucky 
troops, to Winchester s camp on the Miami below Defiance. 
Todd was accompanied by two gentlemen of the Michigan 
Territory and three Wyandot Indians. He proceeded di 
rectly across the country, and performed the journey with a 
degree of secrecy and dispatch highly honorable to his skill 
and enterprise, having completely eluded all the scouts of 
the enemy. He was instructed to communicate to General 
Winchester the following directions and plans from the 
commander-in-chief : 

"That as soon as he had accumulated provisions for 
twenty days, he was authorized to advance to the Rapids ; 
where he was to commence the building of huts, to induce 
the enemy to believe that he was going into winter quar 
ters that he was to construct sleds for the main expedi 
tion against Maiden, but to impress it on the minds of his 
men that they were for transporting provisions from the 
interior that the different lines of the army would be 
concentrated at that place, and a choice detachment from 
the whole would then be marched rapidly on Maiden 
that in the meantime he was to occupy the Rapids, for the 



purpose of securing the provisions and stores forwarded 
from the other wings of the army." 

The left wing, in the meantime, had received a moderate 
supply of provisions and clothing on the 22nd of Decem 
ber, and were now making active preparations to march. 
The river being frozen up, which rendered their water craft 
useless, they were obliged to take their baggage on sleds, 
many of which had to be hauled by the men. Having pro 
vided for the sick, and assigned guards to attend and pro 
tect them, the march for the Rapids was commenced on the 
30th of December. At the same time, Mr. Leslie Combs, a 
young man of intelligence and enterprise, from Kentucky, 
who had joined the army, as a volunteer, on its march from 
Fort Wayne to Fort Defiance, accompanied by Mr. A. 
Ruddle as a guide, was sent with dispatches to inform the 
commander-in-chief of this movement, in order that pro 
visions and reinforcements might be forwarded as soon as 
possible General Winchester expected to be met by these 
at the Rapids by the 12th of January this, however, was 
prevented by an immense fall of snow, which, as Mr. 
Combs had to traverse, on foot, a pathless wilderness of 
more than one hundred miles in extent, delayed him four 
or five days in reaching even the first point of des 
tination, (Fort M Arthur), than would otherwise have 
been necessary to perform the whole route. The supplies 
they had already received, and the prospects now before 
them, afforded some comfort and encouragement to the 
troops ; yet their appearance and their real efficiency were 
still very unpromising Their progress was slow from the 
first, and was much retarded after a few days by the snow. 

While on this march, General Winchester received 
another dispatch from the commander-in-chief, recom 
mending him to abandon the movement to the Rapids, and 
fall back with the greater part of his force to Fort Jen- 


nings. This advice was given in consequence of the intel 
ligence received from Colonel Campbell at Mississiniway, 
respecting the force of Tecumseh on the Wabash. General 
Harrison was apprehensive, that if the left wing advanced 
so far as the Rapids, Tecumseh would be able to attach 
and destroy all the provisions, left on its line of operations 
in the rear. But as Winchester had already commenced 
his march, he did not think himself required by this advice 
to discontinue it and return. Harrison went immediately 
himself into the settlements of Ohio, to arrange with Gov 
ernor Meigs the means of sending another mounted expe 
dition against the Indians under Tecumseh, at the princi 
ple town on the Mississiniway river. Such an expedition, 
however, was afterwards deemed unnecessary. 

On the 10th of January, General Winchester arrived 
with his army at the Rapids, having previously sent for 
ward a strong detachment of 670 men, under General 
Payne, to attack a body of Indians, which General Har 
rison had been informed was lying in an old fortification 
at Swan creek, a few miles farther down the river. The 
detachment went several miles below the old British fort 
at the foot of the Rapids, and having sent their spies to 
Swan creek, where they could discover no appearance of 
Indians, the whole returned again to the position which 
the army was intended to occupy. 

On the north bank of the river, above Wayne s battle 
ground, and directly opposite the point where Hull s road 
struck the Miami, General Winchester established and for 
tified his camp, on a handsome eminence of an oval form 
covered with timber and surrounded with prairies. On the 
day of his arrival, a recent Indian camp was discovered 
about half a mile from this position. Captain Williams 
was immediately dispatched, with 25 men, to pursue the 
Indians who had left it. He soon overtook and routed 


them, having exchanged a few shots, by which some were 
wounded on both sides. 

On the llth of January a dispatch was sent to apprise 
General Harrison of the arrival and situation of the army 
at the Rapids; but it was sent by the persons who were 
taking in the starved and worn out packhorses by General 
Tupper s camp at Fort M Arthur, a place as distant from 
the Rapids as the headquarters of the general, and from 
which it must then pass through a swampy and pathless 
wilderness of forty miles to Upper Sandusky, where it did 
not arrive before the general had left that place, and was 
ultimately received by them at the Rapids where it started. 

The time of the Kentucky troops would expire in Feb 
ruary, and General Harrison had requested General Win 
chester to endeavor to raise a regiment among them to 
serve six months longer; and at the same time had sug 
gested, that it would be imprudent to employ them on any 
other condition in the expedition against Maiden. General 
Winchester now advised him, by a letter sent on the 12th 
to Lower Sandusky, that no reliance could be placed on 
retaining any of them in service after their time had ex 
pired. This communication was simply a note respecting 
the above business, and had only this direction upon it, 

"His excellency, General William H. Harrison." 

Of course the writer did not intend that it should have 
a speedy passage, and inform the general of his arrival at 
the rapids ; nor did it answer that purpose, as it was de 
layed several days on its way to headquarters. On the 
letter sent by the pack horse conveyance of fifteen miles 
a day, was the following endorsement in Winchester s own 
hand writing: 

"General Tupper will please to forward this letter by 
express. J. Winchester." 


From all which it is evident, that he relied on the pack 
horse communication alone, to apprise General Harrison 
that he had reached the Rapids, although the general had 
directed him to communicate the intelligence of that event 
as quick as practicable. 

The opinions of the generals respecting the Kentucky 
troops were afterwards changed. The inactivity and suf 
ferings of the army had dissatisfied them with the service 
at this time; but it soon became evident, that when active 
ly employed they were not inclined to return home; and 
General Harrison did not hesitate to include them in his 
selections for the main expedition, firmly relying that they 
would not abandon the American standard, in the country 
of their enemy, when their time of service had expired. 

A large store house was now built within the encamp 
ment at the Rapids, to secure the provisions and baggage. 
A considerable quantity of corn was also gathered in the 
fields, and apparatus for pounding and sifting it being 
made, it supplied the troops with very wholesome bread. 

On the evening of the 13th, two Frenchmen arrived 
from the river Raisin, with information that the Indians 
routed by Captain Williams had passed that place, and 
gone on to Maiden, with intelligence of the advance of our 
army. They stated, that the Indians threatened to kill 
the inhabitants and burn their town, and begged for pro 
tection from the American arms. They were charged with 
a dispatch from Mr. Day, a citizen who was friendly to 
our cause, and who stated that the British were seizing all 
suspected persons at the river Raisin, and confining them 
in Maiden prison, and that they were preparing to carry 
off all the provisions of every description. On the 14th 
another messenger arrived ; and on the evening of the 16th 
two more came in ; they all confirmed the accounts brought 
by the first express, and solicited protection, as they were 


afraid that the people would be massacred and the town 
burnt by the Indians, whenever our army began to advance 
upon them. They stated the present force of the enemy 
to be two companies of Canadians, and about 200 Indians, 
but that more Indians might be expected to assemble. 

The greatest ardor and anxiety now prevailed in the 
army, to advance in force sufficient to defeat the enemy 
at that place. A council of officers was called by the gen 
eral, a majority of whom were decidedly in favor of send 
ing a strong detachment. Colonel Allen supported that 
side of the question with much ardor. 

General Winchester agreed to the opinion of the major 
ity, and on the morning of the 17th detached Colonel Lewis 
with 550 men to the river Raisin. A few hours afterwards, 
he was followed by Colonel Allen with 110 more, who came 
up with Lewis late in the evening, where he had encamped 
at Presque Isle. Early in the morning of the same day, 
General Winchester prepared a dispatch to inform Har 
rison of this movement. He stated that his principal ob 
ject was to prevent the flour and grain from being carried 
off by the enemy ; that if he got possession of Prenchtown 
he intended to hold it; and that, of course, a co-operating 
reinforcement from the right wing might be necessary. 
Before the express had started with this letter, information 
was received from Colonel Lewis at Presque Isle, a distance 
of twenty miles in advance, that there were 400 Indians at 
the river Raisin, and that Colonel Elliott was expected 
from Maiden, with a detachment destined to attack the 
camp at the Rapids. This intelligence was also inserted 
in the letter to Harrison, which was then dispatched by the 
way of Lower Sandusky. 

Colonel Lewis remained all night at Presque Isle, and 
in consequence of the information noticed above, which 
he received by express from the river Raisin ? he set out very 


early in the morning, intending, if possible, to anticipate 
Colonel Elliott at Frenchtown. That village is in the 
middle between Presque Isle and Maiden, the distance 
from each being 18 miles. The greater part of his march 
was on the ice of the Miami bay and the border of Lake 
Erie, When he had arrived within six miles of the town, 
he was discovered by some Indians, who hastened to give 
the alarm to the main body of the enemy. Before the de 
tachment left the border of the lake, a halt was called to 
take some refreshment. Having resumed the march, a 
piece of timbered land was passed, and as the troops pro 
ceeded in the open plain they were formed in three lines, 
each corps being in its proper place for action. The right 
was commanded by Colonel Allen, and was composed of 
the companies of Captains McCracken, Bledsoe, and Mat- 
son. The left was commanded by Major Graves, and was 
composed of the companies of Captains Hamilton, Wil 
liams and Kelly. The centre consisted of the companies 
of Captains Hightower, Collier and Sebree, and was com 
manded by Major Madison. The advanced guard consisted 
of the companies of Captains Hickman, Graves and James, 
under the command of Captain Ballard, acting as major. 
When they arrived within a quarter of a mile of the 
village, and discovered the enemy in motion, the line of bat 
tle was formed, in the expectation of receiving an attack ; 
but it was soon evident that the enemy did not intend fight 
ing in the open field. The detachment then broke oif by 
the right of companies, and marched under the fire of the 
enemy s cannon, till they arrived at the river, where the 
small arms began to play upon them. The line of battle 
was then formed again, on the bank of the river, and the 
long roll beat as the signal for a general charge, which 
was immediately executed with much firmness and intre 



The enemy were posted among the houses, and the pick- 
etting of the gardens, on the north side of the river. 
Majors Graves and Madison were ordered to dislodge them, 
which they effected with great gallantry, advancing at the 
heads of their battalions under a heavy shower of balls. 
The enemy routed and retreating from this place, were 
next met by Colonel Allen at some distance on the right, 
who pursued them about half a mile to the woods. Here 
they made a stand again, with their howitzer and small 
arms, covered by some houses and a chain of fences, with 
a brushy wood full of fallen timber in their rear. Majors 
Graves and Madison were now ordered with their battal 
ions to possess themselves of the wood on the left, and 
move rapidly on the main body of the enemy, where they 
were contending with Colonel Allen. These orders 
were promptly executed; and as soon as they had com 
menced their fire Colonel Allen also advanced on the 
enemy, who were soon compelled to retire into the woods, 
into which they were closely pursued. The contest with 
Allen s command now became very warm, as the enemy con 
centrated all their forces on the right, with the intention of 
forcing his line. They were, however, kept constantly 
on the retreat, though slowly, as our men were too much 
exhausted to rush upon them Avith rapidity. In this man 
ner they were driven to the distance of two miles, every 
foot of the way under a continual charge. The action com 
menced at 3 :00 o clock, and the pursuit was continued till 
dark, when the detachment returned in good order, and 
encamped in the town. 

In this warmly contested action every officer and sol 
dier did his duty. There was not a solitary instance of 
delinquency. The troops amply supported "the double 
character of Americans and Kentuckians." 


It is, of course, unnecessary to notice the particular 
merits of individuals, Avhere every man completely filled his 
sphere of action. Our loss was twelve killed and fifty- 
five wounded. Among the latter were Captains Hickman, 
Matson and Ballard. The loss of the enemy could not be 
ascertained. They left fifteen dead on the ground where 
the action commenced; but the principle slaughter took 
place in the woods, from which in the night they carried 
off all their dead. From the obstinacy with which they 
contended so long against a force somewhat superior, from 
the appearances next day in the woods, and from the re 
ports of persons who saw them after the battle, it is be 
lieved that their loss was extremely severe. They were 
commanded by Major Reynolds of the British army, who 
had about 100 British troops in the battle, and about 400 

The detachment was now in a place where it could be 
amply accommodated with all the necessaries of life, and 
where the wounded could be well lodged and supplied with 
everything required by their situation. On the night after 
the battle, an express was sent to carry intelligence of the 
success to General Winchester, at whose camp, he arrived 
before daylight; and another was then immediately sent 
from that place to General Harrison, by the way of Lower 
Sandusky, to apprise him of the event. On the morning 
after the battle, Colonel Lewis determined, with the advice 
of his officers, to hold the place and await a reinforcement. 
His first orders from Winchester had been, 

"to attack the enemy, beat them, and take possession of 
Prenchtown and hold it." 

He was authorized, in a dispatch sent after him, how 
ever, to exercise some discretion with respect to holding 
the position. 


As soon as the intelligence of this success was known 
at the Rapids, it produced a complete ferment in camp. 
All were anxious to proceed to Frenchtown in support of 
the advanced corps. It was evident that corps was in a 
critical situation. They were but eighteen miles from 
Maiden, where the British had their whole force; and it 
was not to be doubted but that an effort would be made by 
them, to regain the ground they had lost, or to defeat this 
advance of our army, which at first was inconsiderable, 
and was now much reduced by the killed and wounded. 
Preparations were, therefore, made to reinforce Colonel 
Lewis, and on the evening of the 19th, General Winchester 
marched himself with 250 men, which was all that could 
be spared from the post at the Rapids, He arrived at the 
river Raisin in the night on the 20th, and encamped in an 
open lot of ground on the right of the former detachment. 
Colonel Lewis had encamped in a place where he was de 
fended by garden pickets, which were sufficiently close and 
strong to protect his men against an attack of small arms. 
Colonel Wells commanded the reinforcement, and to him 
the general named, but did not positively order, a breast 
work for the protection of his camp. The general, him 
self, established his quarters in a house on the south side 
of the river, almost 300 yards from the lines ! On the 21st, 
a place was selected for the whole detachment to encamp 
in good order, with a determination to fortify it on the next 
day. About sunset Colonel Wells solicited and obtained 
leave to return to the Rapids. Certain information had been 
received that the British were preparing to make an attack, 
and that they would make it with the utmost dispatch in 
their power was a matter of course. Colonel Wells 
reached the Rapids that night, at which place General 
Harrison had arrived on the 20th, and had made every 
exertion in his power to hasten the reinforcements. 


Before we proceed to the tragedy of the 22nd, we must 
take a review of the arrangements and exertions which in 
the meantime had been made in the rear. When General 
Winchester marched from his camp beloAV Defiance for the 
Rapids, on the 30th of December, he sent an express to 
advise General Harrison of that movement; but, in con 
sequence of a snow storm, which delayed the bearer, the 
general did not receive the intelligence at Upper Sandusky 
before the llth of January. He then immediately ordered 
on some droves of hogs, and held the artillery in readiness 
to march as soon as he should be advised of Winchester s 
arrival at the Rapids. But no further intelligence was re 
ceived, until the evening of the 16th, when a letter from 
General Perkins at Lower Sandusky, enclosing one he had 
received from General Winchester of the 15th, at last in 
formed Harrison, that Winchester had arrived at the 
Rapids, that he meditated some movement against the 
enemy, and that he wanted Perkins to send him a battalion 
from Lower Sandusky. This intelligence alarmed General 
Harrison, and he immediately gave orders for the artillery 
to advance by the way of Portage river, accompanied by 
a guard of 300 men commanded by Major Orr. Escorts 
of provisions were also ordered to follow on the same 
route ; but, owing to the extreme badness of the road, very 
little progress could be made. Even the lighter pieces of 
artillery could not be forwarded with any degree of ex 
pedition. At the same time an express was dispatched 
to the Rapids by General Harrison for information with 
orders to return and meet him at Lower Sandusky, for 
which place he set out the next morning himself, and 
arrived there on the following night. He found that Gen 
eral Perkins had prepared a battalion, with a piece of 
artillery, to be commanded by Major Cotgrove; which was 
ordered to march on the 18th ; and the general now deter- 


mined to follow it himself, and have a personal consulta 
tion with General Winchester. At 4 :00 o clock on the 
morning of the 19th, he received the letter in which Win 
chester informed him of the advance of Colonel Lewis to 
the river Raisin, together with the objects and prospects 
of the expedition. He immediately ordered the remaining 
regiment of Perkin s brigade to march to the Rapids, and 
proceeded there himself. On his way he met an express 
from Winchester, with intelligence of the success of Lewis 
in the battle of the 18th. On the morning of the 20th he 
arrived at the Rapids, and found that General Winchester 
had proceeded the evening before to the river Raisin, hav 
ing left General Payne in his camp with 300 men. Major 
Cotgrove, with the piece of artillery in his train, was so 
retarded by a swamp on the road, and other obstacles to 
his progress, that he had reached no further than the 
Miami bay on the night of the 21st. By marching early 
next morning he arrived within 15 miles of the river 
Raisin, before he was met by the fugitives from the mas 

When Harrison arrived at the Rapids on the 20th, he 
dispatched Captain Hart, the inspector general, to Win 
chester at Frenchtown, with intelligence of the movements 
in the rear, and with instructions to the general, 
"to maintain the position at the river Raisin at any rate." 

On the next day, the 21st, a dispatch was received from 
general Winchester, in which he stated that if his force 
were increased to the amount of 1,000 or 1,200, it would be 
sufficient to maintain the ground he had gained. On the 
evening of the same day the regiment of Perkin s brigade 
arrived at the Rapids, and the remaining Kentuckians 
under Payne were then ordered to march to general Win 
chester, which they did the next morning. The corps thus 
advancing under Cotgrove and Payne would make the 


force under Winchester considerably stronger than the 
amount deemed by him sufficient. But they were one day 
too late. 

On the 22nd, about 10 o clock, the news of the attack 
on General Winchesters camp was received at the Rapids. 
General Harrison immediately ordered the regiment of 
General Perkin s brigade to march with all possible expedi 
tion, and proceeded himself after the reinforcement under 
Payne, which he soon overtook. Some men were presently 
met, who had escaped from the battle, and who stated that 
Winchester s forces were totally defeated, and that the 
British and Indians were pursuing them! towards the 
Rapids. This report only induced the general to urge on 
his men with more rapidity; but several other fugitives 
were soon afterwards met, from whom it was ascertained 
beyond a doubt, that the defeat was total and irretrievable, 
and that all resistance had ceased early in the day on the 
part of the Americans. A council of the general and field 
officers was then held, by whom it was decided to be im 
prudent and unnecessary to proceed any further. Some 
parties of the most active and enterprising men were now 
sent forward to assist and bring in those who might es 
cape, and the rest of the reinforcements then returned to 
the Rapids. 

late the tragical events whicli occurred on the 22nd and 
23rd to the advanced detachment at Frenchtown. Late in 
the evening, after Colonel Wells had left the camp, a 
Frenchman came to General Winchester from the neigh 
borhood of Maiden, with information that a large force of 
British and Indians, whicli he supposed to be near 3,000, 
were about to march from that place shortly after he had 
left it. This intelligence, however, must have been dis 
credited alike by the officers and men, for no preparations 


were made by the one, iior apprehensions exhibited by the 
other. The most fatal security prevailed many of the 
troops even wandered about the town till late in the night. 
Colonel Lewis and Major Madison seemed alone to be on 
the alert they cautioned their men to be prepared at all 
times for an attack. 

Guards were placed out this night as usual ; but as it 
was extremely cold, no picket guard was placed on the 
road, on which the enemy \vas to be expected. The night 
passed away without any alarm, and the reveilee began to 
beat at daybreak on the morning of the 22nd. A few min 
utes afterwards three guns were fired in quick succession 
by the sentinels. The troops were instantly formed, and 
the British opened a heavy fire on the camp from several 
pieces of artillery, loaded with bombs, balls, and grape 
shot, at the distance of 300 yards. This was quickly fol 
lowed by a charge, made by the British regulars, and by a 
general fire of small arms, and the Indian yell on the right 
and left. The British had approached in the night with 
the most profound silence, and stationed their cannon be 
hind a small ravine, which ran across the open fields on the 
right. As soon as the regulars approached within the 
reach of small arms, a well-directed fire from the pickets 
round Lewis camp soon repulsed them on the left and 
centre; but on the right the reinforcement which had ar 
rived with Winchester, and which was unprotected by any 
breastwork, after maintaining the contest a short time, was 
overpowered and fell back. About this time General Win 
chester arrived, and ordered the retreating troops to rally 
behind a fence and second bank of the river, and to incline 
towards the centre and take refuge behind the pickets. 
These orders were either not heard or properly understood, 
and the British continuing to press on the retiring line, 
whilst a large body of Indians had gained their right flank, 


the troops were completely thrown into confusion and re 
treated in disorder over the river. A detachment, in the 
meantime, had been sent from the pickets, to reinforce the 
right wing, which was carried with it in the retreat; and 
Colonels Lewis and Allen both followed it, with a view to 
assist in rallying the men. Attempts were made to rally 
them on the south side of the river, behind the houses and 
pickets of the gardens, but all the efforts of General Win 
chester, aided by the two colonels, were in vain. The In 
dians had gained their left flank and had also taken posses 
sion of the woods in their rear. In their confusion and dis 
may they attempted to pass a long, narrow lane, through 
which the road passes from the village. The Indians were 
on both sides, and shot them down in every direction. A 
large party, w r hich had gained the wood on the right, were 
surrounded and massacred without distinction, nearly one 
hundred men being tomahawked within the distance of 
one hundred yards. The most horrible destruction over 
whelmed the fugitives in every direction. 

Captain Simpson was shot and tomahawked at the edge 
of the woods near the mouth of the lane. Colonel Allen, 
though wounded in his thigh, attempted to rally his men 
several times, entreating them to halt and sell their lives 
as dear as possible. He had escaped about two miles, when 
at length, wearied and exhausted, and disdaining perhaps 
to survive the defeat, he sat down on a log, determined to 
meet his fate. An Indian chief, observing him to be an 
officer of distinction, was anxoius to take him prisoner. As 
soon as he came near the colonel, he threw his gun across 
his lap and told him in the Indian language to surrender, 
and he should be safe. Another savage, having at the same 
time advanced with a hostile appearance, Colonel Allen, 
by one stroke with his sword, laid him dead at his feet. A 
third Indian, who was near him, had then the honor of 


shooting one of the first and greatest citizens of Kentucky. 
Captain Mead, of the regular army, who had fought by the 
side of Colonel Daviess when he fell in the battle of Tippe- 
canoe, was killed where the action commenced. Finding 
that the situation of the corps Avas rendered desperate by 
the approach of the enemy, he gave order to his men, 

"my brave fellows, charge upon them/ 
and a moment afterwards he was no more. 

A party with Lieutenant Garrett, consisting of 15 or 20 
men, after retreating about a mile and a half, were com 
pelled to surrender, and were then all massacred but the 
lieutenant himself. Another of about 30 men had escaped 
nearly three miles, when they were overtaken by the savages 
and having surrendered, about one half of them were shot 
and tomahawked. In short, the greater part of those who 
were in the retreat fell a sacrifice to the fury of the In 
dians. The snow was so deep, and the cold so intense, that 
they were soon exhausted and unable to elude their pur 
suers. General Winchester and Colonel Lewis, with a few 
more, were captured at a bridge about three-quarters of a 
mile from the village. Their coats being taken from them, 
they were carried back to the British lines, were Colonel 
Procter commanded. 

The troops within the picketing, under Majors Graves 
and Madison, had with Spartan valor maintained their 
position, though powerfully assailed by Procter and his 
savage allies. The British had posted a six-pounder be 
hind a small house, about 200 yards down the river, which 
considerably annoyed the camp, till its supplies of ammuni 
tion, which were brought in a sleigh, were arrested by kill 
ing the horse and his driver. Major Graves, in passing 
round the lines, was wounded in the knee he sat down and 
bound it up himself, observing to his men, 
"never mind me, but fight on." 


About 10 o clock Colonel Procter, finding it useless to sac 
rifice his men in vain attempts to dislodge this little band 
of heroes, withdrew his forces to the woods, intending 
either to abandon the contest or to wait the return of the 
Indians, who had pursued the retreating party. The loss 
sustained by our men was inconsiderable; and when Proc 
ter withdrew, they employed the leisure it afforded them 
to take breakfast at their posts. 

As soon as Procter was informed that General Win 
chester was taken, he basely determined to take advantage 
of his situation to procure the surrender of the party in the 
picketing. He represented to the general, that nothing 
but an immediate surrender would save the Americans 
from an indiscriminate massacre by the Indians. A flag 
was then seen advancing from the British lines, carried by 
Major Overton, one of the general s aides, and accompanied 
by Colonel Procter himself and several other officers. Hav 
ing halted at a respectful distance, Major Madison, with 
brigade Major Garrard, proceeded to meet them, expecting 
that the object of the flag was to obtain a cessation of hos 
tilities, for the British to bear off their dead. They were 
much mortified to find that Major Overton was the bearer 
of an order from General Winchester, directing officer 
commanding the American forces to surrender them pris 
oners of war. This was the first intimation they had that 
their general had been taken. Colonel Procter, with great 
haughtiness, demanded an immediate surrender, or he 
would set the town on fire, and the Indians would not be 
restrained in committing an indiscriminate massacre. Ma 
jor Madison observed, 

"that it had been customary for the Indians to mas 
sacre the wounded and prisoners after a surrender, and 
that he would not agree to any capitulation, which General 


Winchester might direct, unless the safety and protection 
of his men were stipulated." 

Colonel Procter then said, "Sir, do you mean to dictate 
to me?" 

"No," replied Madison, "I mean to dictate for myself, 
and we prefer selling our lives as dear as possible, rather 
than be massacred in cold blood." 

Procter then agreed to receive a surrender on the fol 
lowing terms, that all private property should be respected, 
that sleds should be sent next morning to remove the sick 
and wounded to Amherstburg, on the island opposite Mai 
den, that in the meantime they should be protected by a 
guard, and that the side arms of the officers should be re 
stored to them at Maiden. 

Major Madison, after consulting with Garrard, thought 
it most prudent to capitulate on these terms. Half the 
original force was already lost; the balance would have to 
contend with more than three times their number; there 
was no possible chance of a retreat, nor any hope of a rein 
forcement to save them ; and worst of all, their ammunition 
was nearly exhausted, not more than one-third of a small 
keg of cartridges being left. 

Before the men had given up their arms, the Indians 
came among them and began to plunder them. Informa 
tion being given to Major Madison of this conduct, he 
ordered his men not to suffer an Indian to come into the 
lines, and that if they persisted in doing it, or in plunder 
ing, to fire upon them and bayonet them. This decided con 
duct restrained the savages, and none of his men, who were 
marched with him to Maiden, were robbed or injured by 
the Indians. The inhabitants of the town, being much 
alarmed for the safety of their persons and property, united 
with General Winchester in soliciting safety and protec 
tion from the British. 


Colonel Procter informed the American officers that his 
own wounded must be taken to Maiden in the first instance, 
but that early in the morning their wounded should also 
be removed, and in the meantime that a guard should be 
left with them. About 12 o clock the prisoners were marched 
off; Doctors Todd and Bowers, of the Kentucky volun 
teers, were left with the wounded, and Major Reynolds 
with two or three interpreters was all the guard left to pro 
tect them. 

Captain Hart, the inspector general, being among the 
number of the wounded, expressed much anxiety to be 
taken with the prisoners ; but Captain Elliott, of the Brit 
ish army, who had been intimately acquainted with him in 
Kentucky, assured him that he need not be under the least 
apprehension for his safety, that the Indians would not 
hurt those who were left, and that upon the honor of a 
soldier, he would send his own cariole for him next morn 
ing and have him taken to Maiden. 

Soon after the British forces were withdrawn, Major 
Reynolds began to exhibit symptoms of uneasiness, often 
walking about and looking towards the road leading to the 
Rapids, and no doubt expecting the approach of General 
Harrison with reinforcements, which would have been a 
most auspicious event for the wounded. The greater part 
of the Indians went with the British to Stoney Creek, six 
miles on the road towards Maiden, where they were prom 
ised a frolic by their employers. A few stragglers re 
mained, who went from house to house in search of plunder. 
Some of them remained in town till late in the night ; and 
before day, the interpreters who had been left with them, 
abandoned the houses in which they lay. Their anticipa 
tions were now gloomy ; the whole night, indeed, was spent 
with feeling vibrating between hope and despair. Day 
light at last appeared, and their hopes began to brighten ; 


but in a very short time they experienced a sad reversal. 
About sunrise, instead of sleds arriving to convey them to 
Maiden, a large body of Indians, perhaps two hundred in 
number, came into the town painted black and red. Their 
chiefs held a council in which they soon determined to kill 
the wounded who were unable to march, in revenge for the 
warriors they had lost in battle. Soon afterwards they be 
gan to yell, and to exhibit in their frantic conduct, the 
most diabolical dispositions. They began first to plunder 
the houses of the inhabitants, and then broke into those 
where the wounded prisoners were lying, some of whom 
they abused, and stripped of their clothes and blankets, 
and then tomahawked them without mercy. Captain Hick- 
man was dragged to the door, where he was tomahawked 
and then thrown back into the house. This appeared to be 
the signal for consummating their destruction. The houses 
of Jean B. Jerome and Gabriel Godfrey, which contained 
most of the prisoners, were immediately set on fire, and 
the greater part of the wounded consumed in the confla 
gration. Many of them who were able to crawl about, en 
deavored to get out at the windows, but as fast as they ap 
peared they were tomahawked and pushed back. Some who 
were not in those houses, were killed and thrown into the 
flames; while others were tomahawked, inhumanly man 
gled, and left in the streets and highways. 

The few who were judged able to march, were saved 
and taken off towards Maiden, but as often as any of them 
gave out on the way, they were tomahawked and left lying 
in the road. Major Woolfolk, secretary to General Win 
chester, had found an asylum in the house of a French 
citizen, but he was discovered by the Indians, who placed 
him on a horse and were carrying him away. They took 
him by the house of Lasells, a fellow who had been sus 
pected for giving intelligence to the British before the bat- 


tie, to whom he promised a large sum of money if he would 
purchase him from the Indians. Lasalle replied that it 
was out of his power, but that probably his brother would, 
who lived in the next house. The Indian who had taken 
him, being willing to sell him, had turned to go there, when 
another savage shot him through the head. He was then 
tomahawked and scalped, and left to the hogs for two days, 
by which he was partly devoured before the inhabitants re 
moved him. The fate of Major Graves has never been cor 
rectly ascertained. It is believed that he was put into a 
cariole at the river Raisin, and taken towards Detroit ; but 
whether he was murdered on the way to that place, or re 
served for greater sufferings, is not distinctly known. 

The circumstances respecting the fate of Captain Hart 
have been fully ascertained. When the Indians first en 
tered the house, where he lay with Hickman, Major Graves 
and others, and before the massacre had commenced, he 
was carried by Doctor Todd into an adjoining house, which 
had been plundered of its contents. An Indian then met 
them, who, knowing the profession of the doctor, enquired 
why the surgeons were left with the wounded. He was told 
that it was by the directions of Colonel Proctor, and that 
Captain Elliott was a friend to Captain Hart, and had 
promised to send for him that morning. The Indian shook 
his head and observed that Procter and Elliott 

"were damned rascals, or they would have taken care 
of them that evening." 

He then said, "you will all be killed but keep still the 

chiefs are in council, and maybe the wounded only will be 


Captain Hart offered him 100 dollars to carry him to 

Maiden, but he replied, you are too badly wounded. The 

savages now began to tomahawk the prisoners, and Doctor 

Todd was tied and carried to Stoney Creek, where there 


was a camp of the wounded British. He informed Captain 
Elliott and the surgeon, of what was going on at French- 
town, and requested them to send back and endeavor to 
save some of the wounded. Captain Elliott replied that it- 
was too late ; that those who had been badly wounded were 
killed before that time; and that all who were still pre 
served by the Indians were now safe. Doctor spoke of 
Captain Hart in particular, and stated that many who 
would be saved in the first instance, being unable to march 
far, must ultimately be sacrificed, unless means were taken 
to preserve them. To which Elliott replied that charity 
began at home, that his own w r ounded must first be con 
veyed, and that if any sleds then remained, he would send 
them back. Doctor Todd was so anxious to get some per 
son of influence sent back, that lie tried to excite the avar 
ice of the surgeon, by informing him that the surgical in 
struments, which were very valuable, were in the house 
with the wounded. He soon found that he had now touched 
the master passion of the British soul. An interpreter was 
immediately sent back for the instruments, but the con 
flagration had consumed everything before he arrived. The 
conversation of Captain Elliott clearly proved that the 
British officers had deliberately resolved to abandon the 
wounded prisoners to an indiscriminate massacre, in direct 
violation of their solemn engagements at the surrender. If 
they did not instigate, they at least permitted the horrible 
scene without regret. 

After Doctor Todd has been taken from Captain Hart, 
one of the Indians agreed to carry him to Maiden for 100 
dollars. The fellow placed him on a horse and was going 
through the commons of the town when he met with an 
other, who claimed the captain as his prisoner. To settle 
the dispute, they agreed to kill him and divide the re 
mainder of his money and clothes between them. They ac- 


cordingly dragged him off his horse and despatched him 
with a war club. When he found that his destruction was 
inevitable, he submitted with fortitude and composure to 
his fate. 

Many other instances of the massacre of individuals 
and small parties might be mentioned. Some who were ex 
hausted by marching were killed at Brownstown, and sev 
eral others at the river Rouche. Doctor Bowsers w r as saved 
by an Ottawa chief, and was a witness to the massacre of 
four or five at Sandy Creek. For several days after the 
battle, fresh scalps were brought into Maiden by the sav 
ages. Some of the prisoners, however, who had been car 
ried off by the Indians, were fortunate enough to make 
their escape, whilst others were doomed to suffer death in 
the flames, to gratify the revenge of the brutal barbarians. 
Such, indeed, were the monstrous acts of barbarity, com 
mitted on the maimed and defenceless prisoners, that no 
language can depict them in colors sufficiently dark. And 
all this was done by the allies of His Britannic Majesty, the 
sovereign of a nation pretending to rank high in the civil 
ized world ; a nation professing to be Christians ; a nation 
that is venerated by the federalists of America, and which 
claims pre-eminence in everything that is great, and good, 
and honorable in human nature; but against which the 
volumes of history, and the records of Heaven, contain the 
longest, blackest catalogue of crimes and barbarities that 
ever have been perpetrated on this globe. 

Procter was, no doubt, peculiarly qualified by nature 
and education, for the perpetration of such deeds as these 
but the principles on Avhich the patronage of the British 
government is administered, will always produce an abun 
dant supply of such characters, without the aid of uncom 
mon individual depravity. Under that government there 
is no road to preferment so sure, as that which leads 



through oppression, perfidy, and blood ! For the massacre 
at the river Raisin, for which any other civilized govern 
ment would have dismissed, and perhaps have gibbetted 
the commander, Colonel Procter received the rank of major 
general in the British army. 

The American army in this affair lost upwards of 290 
in killed, massacred, and missing. Only 33 escaped to the 
Rapids. The British took 547 prisoners, and the Indians 
about 45. The loss of the enemy, as the Americans had no 
chance to ascertain it, was, of course, never correctly known 
by the public. From the best information that could be 
obtained, it is believed to have been killed and wounded, 
between three and four hundred. The Indians suffered 
greatly, and the 41st regiment was very much cut up. Their 
whole force in the battle was about 2,000, one-half regu 
lars and Canadians, commanded by Colonels Procter and 
St. George ; the other, composed of Indians, commanded by 
Round-Head and Walk-In-The- Water. Tecumseh was not 
there he was still on the Wabash, collecting the warriors 
in that quarter. 

Colonel Procter arrived at Amherstburg with his pris 
oners on the 23rd, and crowded them into a small muddy 
woodyard, where they were exposed all night in a heavy 
rain, without tents or blankets, and with scarcely fire 
enough to keep them from freezing, many of them being 
very indifferently clothed. Such treatment was very severe 
on men, who at home enjoyed all the comforts and luxuries 
of life, and whose humanity would have disdained to treat 
any conquered foe in this manner. Procter, after he had 
left the battle ground, never named the guard nor sleds 
which he had promised for the wounded Americans; nor 
would he pay any attention to the subject when repeatedly 
reminded of it by General Winchester and Major Madison. 
Captain Elliott once replied to their solicitations, that 


"the Indians were very excellent surgeons." 
From the whole tenor of Procter s conduct it is evident that 
he was determined from the first to abandon the wounded 
to their fate. It is true that he had not the means of trans 
portation for his own and the American wounded at the 
same time ; but it is equally true that he had it in his power 
to comply with his promise, made before the surrender, to 
place a guard over them, which would be able to protect 
them from the fury of the savages. What a contrast be 
tween this base perfidy of the British officers, in exposing 
their prisoners to massacre, after stipulating to protect 
them; and the noble humanity of the American tars, in 
sacrificing their own lives to save their foes who had sur 
rendered unconditionally ! 

The prisoners were detained at Amherstburg till the 
26th, when they were divided into two parties, the first of 
which was marched on that day, and the other on the day 
following. Some who were badly wounded w r ere left be 
hind with surgeons to attend them. They proceeded up 
the rivers Detroit and Thames, through the interior of Up 
per Canada, to Fort George on the Niagara strait. On 
this journey they suffered many hardships and indignities 
from the severity of the weather, the want of provisions, 
and from the inhumanity of their guards. At Fort George 
they were paroled and returned home by the way of Erie 
and Pittsburgh, and thence down the Ohio River. The con 
dition of the parole was: not to bear arms against His 
Majesty or his allies during the present war, until regular 
ly exchanged. When some of the Kentuckians inquired 
who were His Majesty s allies they were answered, that 

"His Majesty s allies were known," 

from which it appears that some of these tools of British 
baseness were ashamed of the association which their sov 
ereign had formed. General Winchester, Colonel Lewis, 


and Major Madison were detained and sent by Montreal to 
Quebec, at which place, and at Beaufort in its vicinity, they 
were confined till the spring of 1814, when a general ex 
change of prisoners took place, and they returned home. 

Ensign I. L. Baker, who had been taken by the Indians 
on the 22nd, and had witnessed many of their subsequent 
barbarities, was brought to Detroit and ransomed by an 
American gentleman at that place before the march of the 
prisoners. General Winchester directed him to take charge 
of the wounded, Avho were left at Sandwich. He continued 
there till the 15th of February, discharging in a very able 
and assiduous manner, the duties required in that situa 
tion. During his stay he obtained a variety of information 
concerning the conduct of the allies, which he afterwards 
reported to General Winchester. He ascertained that 
about sixty prisoners had been massacred by the Indians 
after the day of battle ; and that they had probably between 
30 and 40 prisoners still alive. The prospect of their re 
lease, however, was now very gloomy, as Procter had issued 
an order forbidding individuals to purchase any more of 
them, while a stipulated price was still paid for all the 
scalps brought in by the savages. The dead of the Ameri 
can army were still unburied left to be devoured by hogs 
and dogs. When Ensign Baker mentioned this subject to 
the British officers, they still replied that the Indians 
would not suffer them to be buried. The citizens of De 
troit used great exertions to procure provisions for the ac 
commodation of the wounded, and to ransom the prisoners 
from the Indians. Many young ladies, with the character 
istic benevolence of their sex, w r ere very instrumental in 
this business. The names of many persons were reported 
on this account by Ensign Baker; but among them Augus 
tus B. Woodward esq. was pre-eminently distinguished by 
his zealous and unwearied exertions for the benefit of the 


unfortunate Americans. On the part of the British, Col 
onel James Baubee acted with generosity and friendship; 
and Colonel Elliott with Major Muir were likewise found 
on the side of humanity in many serviceable acts. 

Colonel Procter, some time after the defeat, issued a 
proclamation by which he required the citizens of Michigan 
either to take the oath of allegiance to His Majesty, or to 
leave the territory. This measure, together with his viola 
tions of the capitulation of General Hull, induced Judge 
Woodward to address him in a letter, in which he com 
plained of the infractions of that capitulation by the In 
dians in the British employ; reminded him that he had 
pledged his honor, before the late battle, to protect the in 
habitants ; and then informed him of the scandalous scenes 
of barbarity and devastation, which had occurred since the 
capitulation of the 22nd; and concluded with proposing a 
convention between him and the citizens, which would tend 
to secure them for the future in the rights stipulated by 
General Brock. In reply, Colonel Proctor, who had already 
acted with so much perfidious barbarity, now exhibited an 
other trait in his accomplished character. He had the mean 
ness to deny that any capitulation had taken place at the 
river Raisin, and to assert that the Americans had surren 
dered at discretion ! At the same time he called for proofs 
of the barbarities which he had committed. On the next day 
the judge sent him the affidavits of such persons as hap 
pened to be then in Detroit, who had witnessed the conduct 
of the Indians, and remonstrated against his purpose of 
forcing the citizens to swear allegiance to the British gov 
ernment, reminding him that it was contrary to the law 
of nations, and that 

"in a state of open and declared war, a subject or citizen 
of one party, cannot transfer his allegiance to the other 
without incurring the penalties of treason, and Avhile noth- 


ing can excuse his guilt, so neither are those innocent who 
lay temptations before him." 

A passport was soon afterwards obtained by the judge, who 
repaired by the way of Niagara to the City of Washington. 
Many other citizens also abandoned all their property and 
fled from the sway of the red and white savages. 

The following are extracts from the general order, is 
sued by the Commander-in-chief of the British forces, con 
cerning the battle of the 22nd while it avows the employ 
ment of the Indians, and sanctions the savage mode of war 
fare, it will serve as a specimen of the veracity of the Brit 
ish official accounts: 

"His excellency, the commander of the forces, has the 
highest satisfaction in announcing to the troops under his 
command, another brilliant action achieved by the gallant 
division of the army at Detroit under Colonel Procter. In 
formation having been received that an advanced corps of 
the American army, under Brigadier General Winchester, 
amounting to upwards of 1,000 (900) strong, had entered 
and occupied Frenchtown, about thirty-six miles south of 
Detroit, Colonel Procter did not hesitate a moment in an 
ticipating the enemy, by attacking this advanced corps be 
fore it could receive support from the forces on their march 
under General Harrison. At daybreak, on the 22nd of 
January, Colonel Proctor, by a spirited and vigorous at 
tack, completely defeated General Winchester s division, 
with the loss of between four and five hundred slain (less 
than 300) for all who attempted to save themselves by 
flight were cut off by the Indian warriors. About 400 of 
the enemy took refuge in the houses of the town, and kept 
up a galling fire from the windows ; but finding farther re 
sistance unavailing, they surrendered themselves at discre 
tion. On this occasion the gallantry of Colonel Procter 
was most nobly displayed in his humane and unwearied 
exertions, which succeeded in rescuing the vanquished from 
the revenge of the Indian warriors! ! !" 


"Colonel Procter reports in strong terms the gallantry 
displayed by all descriptions of troops and the able sup 
port received from Colonel St. George, and from all the offi 
cers and men under his command, whose spirited valor and 
steady discipline is above all praise. The Indian chief 
Round-Head, with his band of warriors rendered essential 
service by their bravery and good conduct. It is with re 
gret that Colonel Procter reports 24 killed and 158 
wounded! ! !" 

"The commander of the forces is pleased to appoint, till 
further orders, or until the pleasure of His Royal Highness 
the Prince Regent, is known, Colonel Vincent, of the 49th 
regiment, to have the rank of brigadier general in Upper 

The disgrace of this mass of falsehoods, however, is not 
to be imputed to the Commander-in-chief he merely re 
peated the story told him by Procter. 

In this defeat, though the detachment cut off was not 
large, the American cause sustained a great injury ; and on 
the State of Kentucky the stroke was peculiarly severe. 
Colonel Wells immediately returned to that state, with all 
the information that had been collected respecting the bat 
tle and massacre. The effect on the feelings of the com 
munity was truly deplorable. Almost every family in the 
state had some friend or intimate acquaintance in the 
army, for whose fate the most anxious and distressing ap 
prehensions were excited. The accounts given by the fugi 
tives, on which alone the public had to depend, were al 
together indefinite, and extremely exaggerated. It was 
weeks and even months before much information was re 
ceived, on which a perfect reliance could be placed. The 
return of the prisoners at last relieved the anxious uncer 
tainty of the greater part of the people ; but some were still 
left in doubt, and forever must remain in doubt, respecting 
the fate of their best friends and most intimate connec 
tions. Some idea of the public anxiety and distress may be 


formed from the facts, that the army thus barbarously de 
stroyed, was composed of the most interesting and respect 
able citizens of the state; and that from the previous in 
telligence from it, the highest expectations were formed of 
its success and glory. 

A disaster so calamitous would necessarily excite much 
discussion with respect to its cause; and as much blame 
was thrown upon those who committed no error, and who 
were not instrumental in causing the defeat of Winchester, 
which proved to be the defeat of the campaign, it may not 
be amiss to vindicate in a cursory manner, the conduct of 
those on whom public opinion, or the censure of their ene 
mies, was unjustly severe. General Harrison was blamed 
by his enemies, for the advance of the detachment to the 
river Raisin; for not reinforcing it in time; or finding that 
impracticable for not ordering a retreat; besides many 
other matters of less importance. 

It is evident from the statement of facts already made, 
that General Harrison is not answerable for the advance of 
the detachment. It was sent by General Winchester, with 
out the knowledge and consent of Harrison ; and contrary 
to his views and plans for the future conduct of the cam 
paign, and to the instructions, communicated with his 
plans through Ensign Todd, before the left wing had 
marched for the Rapids. If the advance was improper, the 
blame does not lie upon Harrison ; if it was proper, General 
Winchester is entitled to the credit of having ordered it. 
The following extract from the journal of Colonel Wood, 
shows the impression made at headquarters by the first in 
telligence of the advance received at that place: 

"This news for a moment paralyzed the arnr^ or at least 
the thinking part of it, for no one could imagine that it 
was possible for him to be guilty of such a hazardous step. 
General Harrison was astonished at the imprudence and 


inconsistency of such a measure, which, if carried into exe 
cution, could be viewed in no other light than as attended 
with certain and inevitable destruction to the left wing. 
Nor was it a difficult matter for any one to foresee and pre 
dict the terrible consequences, which were sure to mark the 
result of a scheme no less rash in its conception than haz 
ardous in its execution." 

With respect to reinforcing the detachment, a recur 
rence to facts equally proves that Harrison is not blamable, 
as he made every exertion in his power to support it. It 
was not until the night of the 16th that he received the in 
formation, indirectly through General Perkins, that Win 
chester had arrived at the Rapids. By the same express he 
was advised that Winchester meditated some unknown 
movement against the enemy. Alarmed at this informa 
tion, he immediately made every exertion which the situa 
tion of his affairs required. He was then at Upper San- 
dusky, his principal deposit of provisions and munitions of 
war, which is sixty miles from the Rapids by the way of 
Portage River, and seventy-six by the way of Lower San- 
dusky; and about 38 more from the river Raisin. He im 
mediately sent an express direct to the Rapids for informa 
tion; gave orders for a corps of 300 men to advance with 
the artillery, and escorts to proceed with provisions; and 
in the morning he proceeded himself to Lower Sandusky, 
at which place he arrived in the night following, a distance 
of forty miles, which he travelled in seven hours and a 
half over roads requiring such exertion that the horse of 
his aide, Major Hukill, fell dead on their arrival at the fort. 
He found there that general Perkins had prepared to send 
a battalion to the Rapids, in conformity with a request 
from General Winchester. This battalion was dispatched 
the next morning, the 18th, with a piece of artillery; but 
the roads were so bad that it was unable, by its utmost exer- 


tion, to reach the river Raisin, a distance of 75 miles, be 
fore the fatal disaster. 

General Harrison then determined to proceed to the 
Rapids himself, to learn personally from General Win 
chester what was his situation and views. At four o clock 
on the morning of the 19th, while he still remained at 
Lower Sandusky, he received the information that Colonel 
Lewis had been sent with a detachment to secure the pro 
visions on the river Raisin, and to occupy, with the inten 
tion of holding the village of Frenchtown. There was then 
but one regiment and a battalion at Lower Sandusky, and 
the regiment was immediately put in motion, with orders 
to make forced marches for the Rapids ; and General Har 
rison himself immediately proceeded for the same place. 
On his way he met an express with intelligence of the suc 
cessful battle, which had been fought on the preceding day. 
The anxiety of General Harrison to push forward and 
either prevent or remedy any misfortune which might oc 
cur, as soon as he was apprised of the advance to the river 
Raisin, was manifested by the great personal exertions 
which he made in this instance. He started in a sleigh with 
general Perkins, to overtake the battalion under Cotgrove, 
attended by a single servant. As the sleigh went very slow, 
from the roughness of the road, he took the horse of his 
servant and pushed on alone. Night came upon him in the 
midst of the swamp, which was so imperfectly frozen that 
the horse sunk to his belly at every step. He had no re 
source but to dismount and lead his horse, jumping him 
self from one sod to another which was solid enough to sup 
port him. When almost exhausted, he met one of Cot- 
grove s men coming back to look for his bayonet, which he 
said he had left at a place where he had stopped, and for 
which he would have a dollar stopped from his pay unless 
he recovered it. The general told him he would not only 


pardon him for the loss, but supply Mm with another, if he 
would assist him to get his horse through the swamp. By 
his aid the general was enabled to reach the camp of the 

Very early on the morning of the 20th, he arrived at the 
Rapids, from which place General Winchester had gone, 
on the preceding evening, with all his disposable force to 
the river Raisin. Nothing more could now be done but 
wait the arrival of the reinforcements from Lower San- 

The original force of General Winchester at the Rapids 
had been about 1,300, and all but 300 were now gone in ad 
vance. The battalion from Lower Sandusky was hurried 
on as fast as possible; and as soon as the regiment arrived, 
350 strong, on the evening of the 21st, the balance of Win 
chester s army was ordered to proceed, which they did the 
next morning, under General Payne. The force now ad 
vancing exceeded by 300, the force deemed sufficient by 
General Winchester to maintain his position. But whether 
sufficient or not, it is evident from the preceding statement 
of facts, that no more could be sent, and that greater exer 
tions could not be made to send it in time. Instead of cen 
sure being due to General Harrison, he merits praise for 
his prudent exertions, from the moment he was apprised of 
Winchester s arrival at the Rapids. 

"What human means," says Colonel Wood, "within the 
control of General Harrison, could prevent the anticipated 
disaster, and save that corps which was already looked up 
on as lost, as doomed to inevitable destruction? Certainly 
none because neither orders to halt, nor troops to succor 
him, could be received in time, or at least that was the ex 
pectation. He was already in motion and General Harri 
son still at Upper Sandusky, 70 miles in his rear. The 
weather was inclement, the snow was deep, and a large por 
tion of the black swamp was yet open. What could a 


Turenne or an Eugene have done under such a pressure of 
embarrassing circumstances, more than Harrison did?" 

If it should be asked why detachments from the centre 
and right wing were not sent sooner to the Rapids, to form 
a junction with and to strengthen the advance under Win 
chester, the answer is obvious. The object of the advance 
to that place was to guard the provisions, artillery, and 
military stores, to be accumulated there for the main expe 
dition, for which purpose Winchester s command, as it 
would daily be strengthened by the arrival of escorts, was 
amply sufficient ; and it was important that a force unnec 
essarily large should not be sent there, to consume the ac 
cumulating provisions, before the main expedition was 
ready to move. 

After the success of the detachment on the 18th, there 
were powerful reasons, why the position it occupied should 
not be abandoned. The protection of the French inhabi 
tants was now an imperative duty. The advance to their 
town had been made at their solicitation; and when the 
battle had commenced, many of them joined the American 
forces and fought with great gallantry; and afterwards 
they attacked and killed the straggling Indians, wherever 
they met them. Their houses were opened to our men, and 
they offered to give up the whole of the provisions, which 
yet .remained to them, upon condition that they should not 
again be abandoned to the fury of the savages, or subjected 
for what they had done to be immured in the prisons of 
Maiden. The amount of provisions to be secured was be 
lieved to be very considerable. The duty of protecting the 
faithful inhabitants, however, had been so strongly im 
pressed by their conduct, on the minds of General Win 
chester and his men, that an order to retreat would perhaps 
not have been very promptly obeyed. They proved their 
fidelity again, by engaging in the battle of the 22nd. What- 


ever firing was done from the windows on that day, accord 
ing to Procter, must have been done by the inhabitants. On 
the other hand, the forwardness of supplies, and of the 
other corps in the rear, was such that in a few days the most 
ample reinforcements would have arrived, and the main 
expedition could have moved very early in February. 

From the whole of the facts, which are now before the 
reader, he will be able to judge for himself, with respect to 
the causes of the disaster. The advance to the river Raisin 
was a very important movement ; it was made from the best 
and most urgent motives ; but it is questionable whether it- 
was not too hazardous and premature. It was a rule with 
General Harrison, and undoubtedly a very good one, never 
in Indian warfare to send out a detachment, unless indis 
pensably necessary, and then to make it sufficiently strong 
to contend with the whole force of the enemy. The rule 
was peculiarly applicable in this instance. Frenchtown 
was within 18 miles of Maiden, the headquarters of the 
enemy, while it was more than double that distance from 
the Rapids, and about 100 miles on an average from the 
other corps of the American army. The idea of reinforc 
ing an advanced corps at that place, to support it against 
any speedy movement of the enemy, was hence altogether 
chimerical. It should have been strong enough in the first 
instance, or with the reinforcements to be immediately 
sent after it from the Rapids, to maintain its ground, 
against the whole disposable force of the enemy, for a week 
at least. And this was probably the case. The greatest 
error, judging from the information we possess after the 
affair is over, does not appear to have been so much the 
advance of the detachment, as the neglect to fortify the 
camp. The force actually on the ground, if well posted and 
well defended by fortifications, and amply supplied with 
ammunition, could certainly have resisted such an attack 


as was made, until reinforcements had arrived. On the 
21st, General Winchester thus addressed General Har 

"All accounts from Brownstown and Maiden agree in 
stating that the enemy is preparing to retake this place; 
if he effects his purpose, he will pay dear for it. A few 
pieces of artillery, however, would add to our strength, and 
give confidence to our friends in this place." 

Though possessed of this information, and lying so near 
the enemy that they could march at any time in the eve 
ning, and attack him before day next morning, yet he suf 
fered his men to go to rest that night in an open camp, in 
which they had lain a whole day since his arrival at that 

"Unsuspicious and elated with this flash of success," 
says Colonel Wood, "the troops were permitted to select, 
each for himself, such quarters on the west side of the river, 
as might please him best ; whilst the general, not liking to 
be amongst a parcel of noisy, dirty freemen, took his quar 
ters on the east side; not the least regard being paid to 
defence, order, regularity, or system in posting of the dif 
ferent corps." 

After speaking of the battle and massacre, he proceeds : 
"Thus totally sacrificed in the most wanton manner pos 
sible; and that too, without the slightest benefit to their 
country or posterity. With only one- third or one-fourth of 
the force destined for that service; destitute of artillery, 
of engineers, of men who had ever seen or heard the least 
of an enemy ; and with but a very inadequate supply of am 
munition; how he ever could have entertained the most 
distant hope of success, or what right he had to presume to 
claim it, is to me one of the strangest things in the world. 
An adept in the art of war is alone authorized to deviate 
from the ordinary and established rules, by which that art 
for a great length of time has been usefully and success 
fully applied. 


"Winchester was destitute of every means of supporting 
his corps long at the river Raisin, was in the very jaws of 
the enemy, and beyond the reach of succor. He who fights 
with such flimsy pretensions to victory will always be 
beaten, and eternally ought to be. 7 

If Harrison committed an error, it appears to me that 
it consisted in allowing too great a latitude of discretion to 
general Winchester. His responsibility for the conduct of 
the army, his accurate knowledge of the country, his ex 
perience in Indian warfare and knowledge of the caution it 
required, all entitled him to control, in the most positive 
manner, the movements of General Winchester s command. 
On the contrary, he had always 

"considered him rather in the light of an associate in 
command, than inferior." 

In all the correspondence of Harrison with Winchester, he 
had treated him with the most respectful confidence, and 
had recommended, instead of ordering, the measures which 
he wished him to pursue; and in his letters to the war de 
partment, the same decorous and sensitive respect for the 
character, and confidence in the opinions of Winchester 
were constantly preserved and expressed. Had Winchester 
not inferred from this treatment, that he was at liberty to 
take the most important steps without obtaining the appro 
bation of General Harrison, the advance to the river Raisin 
could not have been made prematurely. It has been alleged 
in justification of Winchester, and in derogation of Harri 
son, that the communications of the latter had induced the 
former to believe that he would be supported in this move 
ment. Some of Harrison s letters might have raised an ex 
pectation, that the supplies and troops of the right wing 
would have been sufficiently advanced for this purpose. 
But the last letter from Harrison, received on the evening 
before the detachment marched for the river Raisin, com- 


bined with the instructions communicated through Ensign 
Todd, must have left but little room for such an expecta 
tion. The letter was dated on the 3rd of January, at 
Franklinton. The following is an extract : 

"The hogs are progressing so fast towards the Rapids 
that it is necessary the force destined to occupy it should 
march as soon as possible. If any thing happens to prevent 
your going on immediately, send an express through the 
woods to Upper Sandusky, that I may send two regi 
ments from thence." 

From this it must have been evident to Winchester that 
no troops were approaching from Sandusky ; and from this 
suggestion that 

"a co-operating force from the right wing might be 

It is evident that his calculations on being supported by 
Harrison, had but little influence in his determinations. 





On the night of the 22nd, after all the information had 
been collected that was attainable, respecting the disasters 
of that day, a council of the general and field officers was 
called at the Rapids by General Harrison, who submitted 
to their consideration the following questions: Whether it 
was probable that the enemy would attack the camp at 
that place? and if he did make an attack, whether the force 
then in camp, consisting of 900 men and a single piece of 
artillery, would be able to make an effectual resistance? 
Major M Clanahan, of the Kentucky volunteers, who had 
escaped from the action, assisted at this council. He was of 
the opinion that the force of the enemy in battle had been 
from 1,600 to 2,000 British and Indians, with six pieces of 
artillery, principally howitzers. After mature deliberation, 
it was the unanimous opinion of the council that it would 
be proper to retire a short distance on the road upon which 
the artillery and reinforcements were approaching. For 
should the position at the Rapids be maintained, yet by 
getting in its rear the enemy would be able to defeat the 
reinforcements in detail, and to capture the all important 
convoys of artillery, military stores and provisions corning 
from Sandusky. Although the enemy might not advance 
with his whole force against the camp at the Rapids, yet 
it was deemed highly probable that the Indians at least 



would cross the river on the ice below that place, and en 
deavor to intercept the convoys, of the approach of which 
they must have received information. 

The position which had been selected, and the camp 
which had been formed by General Winchester at the 
Rapids, were also very injudicious, and untenable against 
any formidable force. The position was on the wrong side 
of the river; for it frequently happens in the winter, that 
heavy rains suddenly swell the current and break up the 
ice, so as to render the stream wholly impassable for many 
days together. This would prevent the convoys from reach 
ing the camp, whilst the enemy might cross on the ice at 
the mouth of the bay and destroy them without opposition. 

The attempt to fortify the position had also destroyed 
all its natural advantages. The camp was a parallelogram 
with its longest side on the river, corresponding to the 
form of the hill on which it was placed, the abrupt decliv 
ity of which afforded the enemy a better fortification, at 
point-blank shot in the rear, than the breastwork of logs by 
which the lines were protected. The flanks were also at a 
convenient distance from the ends of the hill to be annoyed 
from them by the enemy. By reversing the order and mak 
ing the flank lines the longest, so as to extend quite across 
the hill, the rear would have been rendered secure, and the 
flanks would have been at too great a distance to be an 
noyed from the extremities of the hill. 

On the next morning, therefore, the army abandoned 
the Rapids, having first set fire to the blockhouses, in which 
there was a quantity of provisions that would be useful to 
the enemy if they advanced to that place. Having retired 
as far as Portage River, about IS miles distant, the general 
there established and strongly fortified his camp, to wait 
for the artillery and a detachment of troops under Left- 


wich, expecting that he would be enabled by their arrival 
to return in a few days to the banks of the Miami. 

This retrograde movement was altogether unnecessary 
in the actual state of things; but we are not to judge the 
commander of an army by the information respecting the 
enemy which may be found in the pages of the subsequent 
historian, but by that which at the time was in his posses 
sion; and in the present case we may remark that imme 
diately after experiencing a defeat for the want of a cau 
tious and strict conformity to military principles, it would 
have been excusable in the officers of the army to have car 
ried that virtue to excess. 

General Harrison was disappointed in his expectation 
of returning in a few days to the Rapids, by an unfortunate 
rain, which arrested the progress of the artillery and troops 
under Leftwich, at the distance of 25 miles from his camp 
at Portage. The rain commenced on the 24th and continued 
several days, so that the road was rendered wholly impass 
able for the artillery, although it was fixed upon sleds. In 
the meantime spies were sent towards the river Raisin, to 
discover the situation of affairs in that quarter: and on 
the 31st of January, Doctor M Keehan, of the Ohio militia, 
volunteered at the request of the general to carry a flag to 
Maiden, to ascertain the condition of the wounded, and to 
carry them a sum of money in gold to procure accommoda 
tions. His fate deserves to be recorded, as it still further 
illustrates the character of the enemy. He was accom 
panied by two men, and furnished with an open letter to 
General Winchester, and another addressed to any British 
officer, describing the character in which he went, and also 
with written instructions for his own conduct ; all of which 
he was directed to show to the first British officer he met. 
He stopped to lie the first night, in a cabin at the Rapids, 
where he fixed his flag in his cariole at the door. In the 


night he was discovered, and attacked by some Indians, 
who killed one of his men ; and having robbed himself and 
the other of all they had, took them prisoners to Captain 
Elliott, who was stationed with some other Indians about 
20 miles farther on. Elliott treated him politely, and sent 
him forward to Procter. When he came into the presence 
of that magnanimous Briton, he immediately began to 
abuse General Harrison, found fault with M Keehairs in 
structions, and declared that the flag was only a pretext to 
cover some bad design. These insinuations were indignant 
ly repelled by the doctor, who was told that he should be 
sent back, by a different route from that which he came. 
After some days he was recognized in his official character, 
and directed to attend the wounded. On the 2nd of March 
he was arrested by Colonel Procter, and accused of carry 
ing on a secret correspondence. Without giving him even 
the form of a trial, he was then sent off to Fort George, and 
thence to Kingston, and finally to Montreal, where he was 
imprisoned in a dungeon, and all the time, from the period 
of his arrest, was misused in the true British style. After 
lying in the dungeon thirty days, he was liberated at the 
intercession of Lieutenant Dudley of the American navy; 
and by way of reparation was informed by Adjutant Gen 
eral Baynes, that the outrages lie had suffered were con 
trary to his orders. 

On the 30th of January, General Leftwich arrived at 
Portage river with his brigade, a regiment of Pennsylvania 
troops, and the greater part of the artillery; and on the 
first of February General Harrison marched with his whole 
force, amounting now to 1700 men, to the foot of the Rapids 
and encamped on the southeast side of the river, at a place 
which he deemed much stronger and more suitable in other 
respects than that which had been occupied by Winchester. 
He still entertained a belief that he would be able to exe- 


cute in the present season, the long intended expedition 
against Maiden, and continued to exert himself in prepara 
tion. All the troops in the rear were ordered to join him 
immediately, except some companies which were left in the 
forts on the Auglaize and St. Marys. He expected he 
would be able by the llth or 12th of February to advance 
towards Maiden, if not with heavy artillery sufficient to 
reduce that place, at least with a force that could scour the 
whole country, disperse the Indians, destroy all the ship 
ping of the enemy, the greater part of their provisions, and 
establish a post near Brownstown, till the season would 
permit the advance of the artillery. The Ohio and some 
of the Kentucky troops soon arrived at the Rapids, which 
rendered his advance 2,000 strong. The accession of all 
the others, would scarcely, however, raise his effective 
force to four thousand men, so greatly were the different 
corps no\v reduced from their nominal and original amount. 
The present was the season, in common years, when the 
most intense frosts prevailed in this country, by which its 
lakes and swamps were rendered perfectly firm and secure 
for any kind of conveyance ; yet the weather now continued 
so warm and rainy, that the ice rendered it altogether un 
safe. A trial of its strength on the border of the lake, was 
effectually made on the evening of the 9th. Intelligence be 
ing received that a party of Indians were driving off the cat 
tle from a small French village, about fourteen miles from 
the Rapids,General Harrison prepared a strong detachment 
and pursued them that night twenty-six miles on the ice 
so weak in many places, that the horses of several officers 
who were mounted, broke through it; and in one place the 
six-pounder broke through it and was nearly lost. The 
Indians were not overtaken ; and in the morning the detach 
ment returned to camp. 


The llth of February at last arrived, and still the bal 
ance of the troops with the necessary supplies had not been 
able to reach the Rapids ; the roads by this time had also 
become absolutely impassable for any kind of carriage, it 
being scarcely possible to traverse them with a single horse. 
Under these circumstances General Harrison was at length 
constrained, with much reluctance and mortification, to 
abandon all thoughts of advancing this season against 
Maiden. And thus terminated, without gaining any de 
cisive advantage over the enemy, a campaign which was 
prosecuted with incalculable expense of the government, 
and immense labors and hardships on the part of the gen 
eral and his men. The great difficulties to be encountered 
in the prosecution of a winter campaign through the 
swampy wilderness in the northwestern parts of Ohio, were 
doubtless sufficient to defeat all the exertions and perse 
verance which could reasonably be expected from human 
nature; yet the indefatigable industry of the general, and 
the unshaken firmness of his brave compatriots, would 
probably have surmounted every obstacle, had it not been 
for the mismanagement and misfortunes of General Win 
chester in conducting the advance of the left wing. The 
apparently unimportant error of sending the intelligence 
of his arrival at the Rapids, by the driver of the old pack- 
horses, would seem to have been the determining cause of 
the failure. The roads were then so well frozen, that the 
artillery and convoys of provisions might have been pushed 
forward with considerable dispatcli ; but for want of that 
intelligence at headquarters, some delay was produced by 
which the critical moment for advancing was lost. 

It was certainly unfortunate that a winter campaign 
was ever attempted. When General Harrison was first ap 
pointed to the command of the northwestern army, the pre 
cise season of the year had arrived, which had arrested the 


progress of the army under General Wayne in the year 93. 
Although eighteen months had then been employed in prep 
aration, and in disciplining the troops, the prudent caution 
of General Washington preferred a postponement of the 
meditated chastisement of the Indians till another year, to 
the risk of attempting it at a season, which so greatly mul 
tiplies the difficulties at all times presented by the nature 
of the country and the peculiar activity of the enemy to be 
opposed. It was in compliance with his instructions, that 
the American army was cantoned at Greenville in Septem 
ber, 93, and the auxiliary volunteer force from Kentucky 
dismissed. The latter had been in part drawn from tho 
most remote counties of Kentucky, and a considerable por 
tion of the whole expense which would have attended their 
employment had already been incurred. To tread in the 
footsteps of Washington and Wayne could have been dis 
honorable to no administration and their commander. Why 
then was a winter campaign attempted? The orders of the 
government to General Harrison were indeed not positive 
on this head ; but it is impossible that he could hesitate to 
believe that their wishes and expectations were decidedly 
in favor of recovering Detroit and taking Maiden during 
the winter. Their letters afford ample evidence that such 
were their views; and their having ordered 10,000 men to 
the field, many of whom were from the Alleghany moun 
tains, whose terms of service would all expire by the end 
of winter, was an unquestionable evidence of their inten 
tions. The force was much greater than was necessary 
merely for the defense of the frontiers. After the most 
mature reflection the general determined to endeavor to 
surmount all the difficulties which would oppose the winter 
campaign. He was fully apprised of their extent, and had 
even given a decided opinion to the government before his 
appointment, that in the event of the capture of Hull s 


army, it would be impracticable to re-establish our affairs 
in that quarter imtil the following year. After being in 
vested with the command, he had altered his opinion so 
far only as to believe, that a season favorable to his opera 
tions, combined with some address, and with much labor 
arid expense, might possibly enable him to advance, either 
before the swamps became impassable in the fall, or in the 
middle of winter when they were hard frozen; and he be 
lieved that the uncommon solicitude of the government and 
the people made it necessary to attempt it. The prepara 
tions for the advance of the army, however, could not be 
completed in time for advancing in the fall ; and the open 
ness of the winter, with other unfavorable occurrences, de 
feated him in that season. 

Many persons were impatient at the delay of the north 
western army, who did not know, that before it could arrive 
at Detroit, it had to pass a wilderness of 180 miles, and 
many who knew that circumstance, did not know that the 
greater part of that desert Avas a frightful swamp, and that 
the best of it would be considered impassable for carriages 
of any kind, by the people of the Atlantic States. With 
the knowledge which the general possessed of the country, 
he could not for a moment have thought of passing, in the 
latter part of the fall or beginning of winter, the swampy 
district which crosses every approach to the lake, even if 
his preparations for the march had been complete. But 
this was far from being the case. At a time when it was 
supposed by many, that he might have been in full march 
upon Maiden, some of the pieces of artillery, which were 
intended to reduce that fortress, had just been forwarded 
from Washington City, and a part of the timber for the 
carriages of the latter was still standing in the woods near 
Pittsburgh. The very unexpected surrender of Hull had 
thrown all the western arrangements of the government 


into confusion. Reinforcements had been ordered for bis 
army, and during tbe excitement produced by his surrender, 
additional reinforcements were ordered into the field, be 
fore any arrangements had been made to furnish them with 
provisions and clothing, and to supply the place of the ar 
tillery which was lost in Detroit. 

After the termination of the campaign, the attention 
of General Harrison was directed to the fortifying of his 
position at the foot of the Rapids; to the distribution of 
the troops, which would remain after the discharge of the 
Kentucky and Ohio corps ; and to the accumulation of pro 
visions at his present post for the next campaign. In the 
latter business, very little could be effected at present. It 
was necessary, to wait for the opening of the rivers in the 
spring, to bring down the immense stores accumulated on 
the St. Marys and Auglaize by water conveyance. From 
Lower Sandusky there was some progress made in trans 
portation, by going round on the ice of the Sandusky and 
Miami bay and border of the lake. A battalion of Ohio 
troops, recently called into service, together with a com 
pany of regulars, were distributed in the forts on the 
Auglaize and St. Marys; in each post on Hull s road, a 
subaltern s command was stationed ; at Upper Sandusky a 
company was placed, and another at Lower Sandusky. 
The balance of all the troops were collected at the foot of 
tbe Rapids, where they amounted to 1500 or 1800 men, 
which was deemed by General Harrison to be too small a 
force for that important post. The direction of its forti 
fication was entrusted to Colonel Wood, who was then 
captain in the corps of engineers. 

"So soon as the lines of the camp were designated, large 
portions of labor were assigned to each corps in the army, 
by which means a very laudable emulation was easily ex 
cited. Each brigade or regiment, commenced the particu- 


lar portion of work allotted to it with great spirit and 
vigor. The camp was about 2500 yards in circumference, 
the whole of which, with the exception of several small in 
tervals left for batteries and blockhouses, was to be 
picketed with timber fifteen feet long, from ten to twelve 
inches in diameter, and set three feet in the ground. Such 
were the instructions of the engineer. To complete this 
picketing, to put eight blockhouses of double timbers, 
to elevate four large batteries, to build all the storehouses 
and magazines required to contain the supplies of the army, 
together with the ordinary fatigues of the camp, was an 
undertaking of no small magnitude. Besides an immense 
deal of labor was likewise required in excavating ditches, 
making abatis, and clearing away the wood about the camp ; 
and all this was to be done too at a time when the weather 
was inclement, and the ground so hard frozen that it could 
scarcely be opened with the mattock and pick-axe. But in 
the use of the axe, mattock and spade consisted the chief 
militar} knowledge of our army ; and even that knowledge 
however trifling it may be supposed by some, is of the ut 
most importance in many situations, and in ours was the 
salvation of the army. Colonel Wood." 

The position thus fortified and denominated Camp 
Meigs, was deemed the most eligible that could be selected, 
for the protection of the frontiers and the small posts in 
the rear of it. As a depot for the artillery, military stores 
and provisions, it was also indispensably necessary to main 
tain it, for it was now impossible to bring them away. 

Tt will be proper in this place, to notice some transac 
tions, which occurred after the defeat at the river Raisin, 
in the States which had troops in the northwestern army. 
When General Harrison at Lower Sandusky, received the 
information from General Winchester, that the Kentucky 
troops were not disposed to remain in service after their 
six mouths had expired, he immediately addressed a letter 
to Governor Shelby, in which he appealed to the patriot 
ism of that chief and the people of his State for reinforce- 


ments. He requested that a corps of 1500 men might be 
raised and marched to the army with all possible dispatch, 
to supply the place of the Kentuckians then in the field. 
The legislature of Kentucky was in session, and the govern 
or in a confidential message, communicated the informa 
tion and request, which he had received from General Har 
rison. A law was immediately passed, offering the addi 
tional pay of seven dollars per month, to any 1500 of the 
Kentucky troops, who would remain in service, till a corps 
could be sent to relieve them. This laAV with an address 
from the legislature to the troops, was immediately dis 
patched to them by Colonel Anthony Crocket, who arrived 
at the northwestern arlny about the 8th of February. The 
men had suffered so much, by the unparalleled privations, 
which they had to encounter in a winter campaign, in that 
rigorous climate and unfavorable country and they were 
now so anxious to return to their friends at home that 
they partially resisted the strong appeal to their patriot 
ism in the address of the legislature, supported by the offer 
of additional pay. They would not engage for any speci 
fied length of time but if their general was ready to ad 
vance against the enemy, they would not hesitate to accom 
pany him without any pecuniary inducement. A similar 
offer was made about the same time by the State of Ohio, 
and afterwards by Pennsylvania, to their respective troops, 
which was attended with similar success. 

In the meantime the legislature of Kentucky was en 
gaged in passing an act. to authorize the governor to detach 
a corps of 3,000 men from the militia, of which 1500 were 
intended to march immediately to General Harrison. On 
the 2nd of February, they received intelligence of the vic 
tory obtained at Frenchtown by Colonel Lewis, which pro 
duced the liveliest joy at the capitol but a sad reverse 
was at hand. In the evening the Theatre was unusually 


crowded, and the hearts of the people teemed with gratula- 
tion at the victory obtained by their fellow-citizens in arms 
when Colonel Wells arrived about 8 o clock in the night, 
with information of the defeat and massacre at the river 
Raisin. What a shock to the feelings of the people! Tho 
flower of the Kentucky troops, and of the citizens of that 
State, were totally defeated and barbarously cut to pieces. 
The sad reality filled every mind with horror the fictitious 
scene of public amusement, was quickly abandoned for the 
private firesides, to mourn the loss of friends 1 and the mis 
fortunes of the country. But the public spirit did not sink 
under the pressure of this calamity. Though many widows 
and orphans were left to mourn the loss of husbands and 
fathers; yet the monstrous outrage of the 22nd only roused 
the indignation of the yeomanry, and one universal call for 
vengeance on the unprincipled fee, was heard from one ex 
treme of the State to the other. 

On the next day the governor put his approving signa 
ture to the laAV for calling out 3000 militiamen; and the 
legislature, placing the utmost confidence in the patriotism, 
energy, and military talents of that veteran, passed a re 
solve, in conformity with the Constitution, "advising him 
to command personally in the field," at any time when he 
could best promote the public interests by such personal 
service. At the Rapids on the 13th, the fragments of the 
regiments, originally commanded by Colonels Allen, Scott, 
and Lewis, were honorably discharged; and about the same 
time the original troops from Ohio were also permitted to 
retire. The Kentucky regiments under Barbee, Poague, 
and Jennings terminated their period of service on the 1st 
of March and returned home. The Virginia and Pennsyl 
vania troops still formed a competent force at the fort, but 
their time was also drawing to a close. 


The commanding general, considering the destruction 
of the enemy s vessels at Maiden, as an object of the great 
est importance, and as one which might be accomplished by 
an expedition on the ice of the lake, prepared in the latter 
part of February for an enterprise of that kind, which he 
entrusted to the command of Captain Langham, a young 
officer of great promise. The detachment with which he 
was to execute it, consisted of 170 volunteers, from the dif 
ferent corps at the Rapids, who were capable of any enter 
prise that valour and perseverance could effect. They were 
provided with all the combustible materials and instru 
ments necessary for such an undertaking; and the particu 
lar party charged with setting fire to the vessels, was placed 
under the immediate direction of Mr. Madis, conductor of 
artillery, a young French gentleman who had been an 
officer of the navy in his native country, and who was dis 
tinguished for his great zeal in our cause, and for his knowl 
edge of all the duties of the artillery service. Sleighs were 
provided for the whole detachment, and they were directed 
to go down the lake to the Bass Islands, and proceed from 
one island to another in the chain running towards Maiden, 
managing their movements so as to set out from the Middle 
Sister about dark, that they might reach the destined scene 
of action some hours before day. When they came near to 
Maiden, the sleighs were to be left and the party to proceed 
on foot, being all provided with moccasins or cloth socks 
to prevent their feet from making a noise on the ice. Hav 
ing completely fired the vessels they were to return to their 
sleighs, which it was supposed would convey them so rapid 
ly away, as to render pursuit perfectly nugatory. On the 
second day after their departure, General Harrison ad 
vanced with a considerable detachment for the purpose of 
meeting any party which might pursue them. But at the 
mouth of the Miami bay, he had the infinite mortification to 


meet Captain Langham returning. He had proceeded but 
a short distance from the Bass Islands, when he found the 
whole lake open, which of course put a stop to his progress. 
In most winters the passage of the lake on the ice is prac 
ticable at this period. Had it been so at this time, there is 
good reason to believe that the scheme would have suc 
ceeded, and have illuminated the setting darkness of the 
campaign with a blaze of glory. The subsequent conduct 
of Captain Langham lias proved, that a better choice for 
the leader of such an enterprise could not have been made; 
nor could a more proper person have been selected for firing 
the vessels than Mr. Madis, from his intimate acquaintance 
with everything relating to them, and his acknowledged 
bravery which he had displayed in the campaign of General 
Hull. * 

As soon as the dispatch of General Harrison, dated on 
the llth of February, in which he informed the government 
of the termination of the campaign, and of his consequent 
arrangements, was received at the war department, the 
present secretary, General Armstrong, sent him instruc 
tions in several successive letters, for the future conduct of 
the war on the northwestern frontiers. He was instructed 
to continue his demonstrations against Maiden, as a diver 
sion in favor of the attempts to be made on Canada below ; 
but no real movement against Maiden was to be made, until 
the government had obtained the command of Lake Erie, 
which it expected to accomplish by the middle of May. 
The vessels of war for this purpose now building at Presque 
Isle in Pennsylvania, Cleveland was fixed upon, as the 
depot for the troops to be employed in the expedition. 
Those troops were to consist of the 17th and 19th regiments 
now in the northwestern army, and but very partially filled 
the 24th regiment now at Massac, and three new regi 
ments of regulars, two of which were to be raised in Ohio, 


and the other in Kentucky. If these regiments were not 
filled in time, the deficiency was to be made up from the 
militia. To curtail the enormous expense of militia ser 
vice, some general rules were adopted in relation to their 
employment. No requisition was to be made, but by some 
officer regularly authorized and was then to be for a 
definite number, in which the officers and privates should 
bear the same proportion, as in the regular army and 
until so organized, they were not to be received into service. 
The general was instructed to maintain the post at the 
Rapids, unless by possibility he should be unable to sub 
sist a sufficient force there for that purpose; and to insure 
him the possession of a sufficient force, he was authorized 
to employ the tw r o regiments to be raised in Ohio, or so 
many of them as would answer his purpose, lie was also 
instructed to promote the recruiting service, in order to 
have the regiments filled in time for the expedition. Such 
were the plans of the new secretary for the approaching 
campaign; and with these nominal forces w r as the general 
required to maintain the northwestern posts, with the pro 
visions and military stores now accumulated in them ; and 
to protect the frontiers against the Indians, and make 
demonstrations against Maiden. Fortunately, General 
Harrison, before he received these instructions, had called 
for reinforcements of militia from both Kentucky and 
Ohio, but the whole number expected would not be suffi 
cient to garrison the different posts completely. 

In answer to these instructions, the general remon 
strated against abandoning the use of militia, and leaving 
the frontiers in such a defenseless situation. He repre 
sented the numerous Indian tribes, residing contiguous to 
our outposts, who were either hostile, or would soon become 
so, when not overawed by an American army. As soon as 
the lake became navigable, the enemy from Maiden could 


also make a descent with the utmost facility on Fort Meigs, 
the important deposit of the artillery and military stores, 
from which they could not be removed through the swamps, 
and to which it was necessary to carry, on the high waters 
in the spring, the immense supplies deposited on the Au- 
glaize and St. Marys. The works at the Rapids had been 
constructed for a force of 2,000 men, for the general had 
thought it necessary to maintain a force at that place, 
which would be able to contend in the field with all the dis 
posable force of the enemy, in order to prevent him from 
getting into its rear, and destroying the weaker posts whicli 
more immediately protected the frontiers. The govern 
ment was assured, that the regular force on which they 
relied, could not be raised in time, even for the intended 
expedition; and that as large supplies were not prepared, 
at points where they lay could be transported by water, the 
surest plan would be to march a large militia force, whicli 
not being delayed and dispirited for the want of supplies, 
would behave well and effectually accomplish the objects 
of the campaign. The probability that the force on which 
the government relied, would be too small to effect its 
object, was represented as a great obstacle in the way of 
the recruiting service, which at best was found to be very 

In the following extract from a letter of General Har 
rison to Governor Shelby, the general expressed himself 
more explicitly on the subject. 

"My sentiments upon the subject of the force necessary 
for the prosecution of the Avar, are precisely similar to 
yours. It will increase your surprise and regret, when I 
inform you, that last night s mail brought me a letter from 
the secretary of war, in which I am restricted to the em 
ployment of the regular troops raised in this State to re 
inforce the post at the Rapids. There are scattered through 
this State about 140 recruits of the 10th regiment, and with 


these I am to supply the place of the two brigades from 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, whose terms of service will 
now be daily expiring. By a letter from Governor Meigs 
I am informed, that the secretary of war disapproved the 
call for militia, which I had made on this State and Ken 
tucky, and was on the point of countermanding the orders. 
I will just mention one fact, which will show the conse 
quences of such a countermand. There are upon the Au- 
glaize and St. Marys rivers, eight forts which contain 
within them property to the amount of half a million dol 
lars from actual cost, and worth now to the United States 
four times that sum. The whole force which would have 
had charge of all these forts and property, would have 
amounted to less than twenty invalid soldiers." 

The determination of the government, to rely on raising 
regulars, was caused in part by the inefficiency of the 
militia. This species of troops on the northern frontier 
had in many instances refused to pass the limits of the 
United States, under the pretence that it was unconstitu 
tional ; and in the western country, where they had in gen 
eral behaved well, the campaign had been enormously ex 
pensive, and had accomplished no important object. On 
the other hand, it was hoped that the recruiting service 
would now be more productive, under a law which, had 
recently passed in Congress. This law authorized twenty 
regiments to be raised to serve only twelve months ; and at 
the same time the pay and bounty wore greatly enhanced. 
The plan, however, was not well suited to the western 
country. The recruiting of regulars will always be slow, 
where a superabundant population had not rendered the 
army a place of refuge from hard labor, low wages and 
starvation. Hence by the time a regiment of twelve 
months men can be filled, one-half the number on an average 
will have served half their time, so that neither in respect 
of economy nor discipline, can such troops be much prefer 
able to militia ; and such proved to be the case in the present 



attempt. Colonels M ? Arthur and Cass were appointed 
brigadier-generals, to command the troops destined to form 
the northwestern army; and Governor Howard was ap 
pointed a brigadier, and assigned to the command of the 
Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri Territories. 

In the meantime General Harrison had left the fron 
tiers, and repaired to Cincinnati, where his family resided, 
having entrusted the command of Fort Meigs to General 
Leftwich. Upon the failure of the expedition under Cap 
tain Langhaiu, he saw that it was now impossible to annoy 
the enemy in any manner, and that until the lake became 
navigable, it would be equally impossible for the enemy to 
make any formidable attack on his posts. He Avas equally 
confident, that as soon as the lake became completely open 
in the spring, an attack would be made on some of his ad 
vanced positions, and most probably on Fort Meigs, on the 
safety of which depended the success of our operations in 
the next campaign ; at the conclusion of the last, that place 
had become from inevitable necessity as well as from choice, 
the grand depot of nearly all the artillery, military stores, 
and provisions belonging to the northwestern army; for 
unless the provisions in the posts on the waters of the 
Miami were taken to Fort Meigs, while the waters were nav 
igable in the spring, they would be rendered useless for any 
operations in advance of those places, until midsummer, 
when the roads would become sufficiently dry and firm for 
their land transportation. 

Before the period when the attack on the place was to 
be expected, its garrison would be reduced to insignifi 
cance by the discharge of the militia; the general hence 
deemed it his duty to repair to the interior, and hasten out 
with reinforcements to take their place; and this was par 
ticularly necessary, as it was probable that they would be 
too late, unless their march were hastened, by (hose extra- 


ordinary and expensive measures, to which a commander- 
in-chief can with propriety resort, but of which few subor 
dinate officers will take the responsibility. The general 
had also a powerful motive for visiting Cincinnati, in the 
State of his family they had suffered and were still suffer 
ing the most unexampled afflictions of disease. 

Governor Meigs had ordered two regiments to be or 
ganized, which rendezvoused at Dayton and several other 
points in Ohio, in the early part of March, and were placed 
under the command of Brigadier-general John Wingate, 
who proceeded with one of the regiments under Colonel 
Mills to St. Marys, to garrison the posts in that quarter. 
The number of men in his brigade, however, proved greatly 
deficient. Prom one division of militia, from which 250 
men were to be detached, only forty appeared in the field ; 
and the whole amount obtained was insufficient, to garri 
son the small posts only. 

The governor of Kentucky acting under the law recent 
ly passed in that State, had on the 16th of February, or 
dered 3000 men to be drafted and organized into four regi 
ments under Colonels Boswell, Dudley, Cox and Caldwell, 
to be. commanded by Brigadier-general Green Clay. The 
two former rendezvoused at Newport about the 1st of 
April, at which place General Harrison had waited till the 
first three companies arrived, which he furnished with a 
packhorse for every two men, and sent them on by forced 
marches. Tie had received letters from the Rapids inform 
ing him, that the Virginia and Pennsylvania brigades 
would leave that place the moment their time was out, 
which would be on the 2nd of April and as the openness 
of the season would soon render the lake navigable, and 
the enemy had learned, from a prisoner they had taken, the 
situation of our affairs, an immediate attack upon Fort 
Meigs was anticipated. This state of affairs was communi- 


cated to the war department, and the propriety of calling 
out the balance of the Kentucky draft, to be placed at Fort 
Wayne to keep the Indians in check, was pressed on the 
attention of the government. The general immediately set 
out for the Rapids, leaving the Kentucky regiments to fol 
low him with the utmost expedition in their power. In the 
meantime the Virginia and Pennsylvania troops returned 
home, except about 230 of the latter, who had volunteered 
under the influence of patriotic sentiments and the elo 
quence of their chaplain, Doctor Hersey, to remain till the 
reinforcements had arrived. When the general afterwards 
arrived, these patriotic men informed him through their 
officers, that upon reaching home in the course of a few 
weeks, depended their raising crops in the ensuing season, 
but that they were determined never to abandon him, until 
he thought their services could be spared without danger 
to the fort. The general dismissed them on the arrival of 
the advanced companies of the Kentucky militia. 

While General Harrison was in the interior, he ad 
dressed several letters to the commanders of the Penn 
sylvania and Virginia brigades, which were read to those 
troops, setting forth the exposed situation of the camp, the 
probability of an attack, and the awful consequences of 
leaving the camp, almost to the mercy of the enemy. 

"Those letters did honor to General Harrison, but they 
proved of no avail as respects the Virginia troops. They 
were calculated to rouse the feelings, and excite the ener 
gies of him, who had the smallest regard for his country s 
welfare; but Leftwich had determined on leaving the camp 
as soon as possible, and cared not what became of those who 
remained. Nor did he do or say anything to get a part of 
his men to remain a few days. His conduct during the 
absence of General Harrison was highly reprehensible, in 
deed, for instead of completing the unfinished works, he pre 
tended that the men could not be made to work, said they 


were sickly, that the weather was bad, and what was most 
vexations indeed, permitted them to burn the picketing 
timber for fuel, instead of getting it from the woods. After 
General Harrison left camp, not a single thing toAvards 
finishing the works was done, until Captain Wood returned 
on the 20th from Sandusky, to which place he had been sent 
to give directions for its fortification. He had the extreme 
mortification to find nothing at all done in his absence, ex 
cept the destruction of the unfinished lines. This was most 
perplexing to him indeed, as the ultimate responsibility 
in case of an attack, would in a great measure attach to 
him, the fortifying of the camp having been solely com 
mitted to Ids charge. Many young officers, Croghan, Brad 
ford and Langham, were extremely chagrined and vexed 
at this old phlegmatic Dutchman, who was not even fit for a 
packhorse master, much less to be entrusted with such an 
important command. Colonel Wood." 

After the departure of Leftwich, the command devolved 
on Major Stoddard, who had only the remaining Pennsyl- 
vanians, a battalion of twelve month s volunteers under 
Major Alexander, a company of artillerists, and small 
fragments of the 17th and 19th regiments of infantry, 
amounting in all to 500 men with which to maintain an 
unfinished fortress, calculated for an army of 2000. But 
Stoddard was an excellent officer, and made every exer 
tion in his power to complete the fortifications. 

Little skirmishes now frequently took place in the 
vicinity of the camp with reconnoitering parties of Indians ; 
and about the last of March a party of citizens arrived from 
Detroit with information that Proctor had issued orders 
for assembling the militia at Sandwich on the 7th of April, 
to assist in an expedition against Camp Meigs. One of 
them, a respectable inhabitant of Detroit, stated that lie 
had frequently heard Major Muir, with whom he was inti 
mate, speak of the plan of attack, on which Proctor had 
already determined. It was to erect strong batteries on the 


north side of the river to be maimed and played upon the 
camp by the regulars, while the Indians completely invested 
the camp on the south side and in the opinion of Major 
Muir, it would require but a few hours of cannonading and 
bombarding, to smoke out our troops into the hands of the 
Indians. Various other persons soon afterwards arrived 
from the same place, and confirmed this information. They 
frequently stated, that Proctor had said he would march 
the northwestern army to Montreal by the first of June. 
The utmost exertions were now made, and every possible 
means were taken to render the camp impregnable as the 
situation of things would admit. 

"On the 8th of April, Lieut. Col. Ball arrived with 200 
dragoons, as fine fellows as ever drew a sword they were 
cordially received, and their presence seemed to give new 
life to some of the old veterans, who were almost broken 
down with colds and hard work. Wood." 

On the 12th, General Harrison arrived at the camp, 
having brought with him all the troops, being about 300 
men, which could possibly be spared from the posts on 
the Auglaize and St. Marys. He descended by water from 
Fort Amanda, expecting from the information he had re 
ceived, that Fort Meigs was already invested. Had that 
been the case, he intended to storm the British batteries 
in the manner, in which he afterwards ordered Colonel 
Dudley to do it. On his way from the interior, he wrote 1 
back to Governor Shelby for the balance of the Kentucky 
draft. This was in direct violation of his instructions 
from the secretary of war; but the critical situation of 
affairs in his opinion authorized the measure; and if the 
secretary disapproved it, he would still have time to coun 
termand the march of the troops. The mosi vigorous 
exertions were now made in the fort to prepare for a siege ; 
and scouts were constantly sent out to watch for the ap- 


proach of the enemy. A vigilant eye was directed down the 
river, and reconnoitering parties were frequently sent in 
boats to the mouth of the bay to survey the lake. On the 
1.9th, a scouting party brought in three Frenchmen from 
the river Raisin, who stated that the British were still 
making active preparations for an attack, and were assem 
bling an immense Indian force. The Prophet and Tecuni- 
seh had arrived with 600 warriors from the country be 
tween Lake Michigan and the Wabash. This intelligence 
convinced the general that no attack by the Indians was to 
be expected on the posts in his rear, or on the settlements 
of the Big Miami and Wabash. He, therefore, sent an 
express to Governor Shelby to countermand the march of 
the troops which he had recently requested. 

General Clay had still not arrived with the detachment 
under his command. His progress was very much impeded 
by the deepness of the roads, and the fullness of every 
little stream he had to cross. The companies which Har 
rison had dispatched in advance, by the way of Forts 
M Arthur and Portage, unencumbered with heavy bag 
gage, constituted a battalion of Boswell s regiment, under 
the command of Major Johnson. They were so fortunate 
as to reach the camp at the Rapids before the arrival of the 
enemy. When the rest of the detachment arrived on the 
waters of the Miami, the regiment of Colonel Dudley was 
ordered to descend the Auglaize with boats containing 
provisions and baggage, and to wait at Defiance for the 
general, who embarked on the St. Marys with the balance 
of Boswell s regiment, in boats also freighted with baggage 
and provisions. They had all arrived at Defiance on the 
3rd of May, where the general was met by an express from 
Camp Meigs, with intelligence that it was already invested 
bv the Allies. 


Towards the latter part of April, the enemy was fre 
quently discovered in small parties about the fort, by the 
scouts sent out by the general; on the 26th his advance 
was discovered at the mouth of the bay ; and on the 28th as 
Captain Hamilton was going down the river with a small 
reconnoitering party, he discovered the whole force of the 
British and Indians approaching within a feAv miles of the 
fort. An express was now sent to General Clay, with let 
ters also for the governors of Ohio and Kentucky. This 
perilous journey was undertaken by Captain Oliver, the 
commissary to the fort, a brave and intelligent officer, who 
possessed every necessary qualification for such an enter 
prise. He was accompanied by a single white man, and 
an Indian, and was escorted some distance from the camp 
by Captain Garrard with 80 of his dragoons. The troops 
in the fort were paraded, and the general addressed them 
in animated terms on the approaching crisis. His popu 
lar eloquence reached the hearts of his brave companions, 
and was ansAvered with shouts of applause and devotion. 
Presently the gunboats of the enemy came in view down 
the river, and approached to the site of the old Fort Miami, 
on the opposite side from Camp Meigs. There the British 
began to land and mount their guns, and as soon as their 
ordnance was on shore, their boats were employed to carrv 
the Indians to the southeast side of the river, where they 
soon completely invested our camp, and nothing but their 
hideous yells and the firing musketry was now to be heard. 

The general was indefatigable in his attention to all the 
operations required by the situation in which he was placed. 
On the next morning after the arrival of the enemy he 
issued a general order from which the following is an 
extract : 

"Can the citizens of a free country who have taken arms 
to defend its rights, think of submitting to an army com- 


posed of mercenary soldiers, reluctant Canadians goaded 
to the field by the bayonet, and of wretched, naked sav 
ages? Can the breast of an American soldier when he 
casts his eyes to the opposite shore, the scene of his conn- 
try s triumphs over the same foe, be influenced by any other 
feelings than the hope of glory? Is not this army com 
posed of the same materials with that which fought and 
conquered under the immortal Wayne? Yes, fellow sol 
diers, your general sees your countenances beam with the 
same fire, that he witnessed on that glorious occasion ; and 
although it would be the height of presumption to compare 
himself with that hero, he boasts of being that hero s pupil. 
To your posts then fellow-citizens, and remember that the 
eyes of your country are upon you." 

The British had established their main camp about two 
miles down the river at the place of their landing; and in 
the night they had commenced three batteries opposite the 
fort, on a high bank about 300 yards from the river, the in 
tervening low ground being open and partly covered with 
water. Two of them were gun batteries with four em 
brasures, and were situated higher up the river than the 
fort; the other was a bomb battery situated rather below 
the fort. They had progressed so far in the night, that 
they were now able to work at them in daylight. A fire 
however, was opened upon them from the fort, which con 
siderably impeded their progress. It was under the direc 
tions of Captain Wood, the senior officer of the engineers, 
Captain Gratiott, being unwell, but able occasionally to 
take charge of a battery. 

"The enemy s mode of attack being now thoroughly un 
derstood, a plan previously arranged and suggested to the 
general, to counteract such an attack as the one already 
commenced by the enemy, was adopted and directed to be 
carried into execution as soon as possible. The whole 
army was warned out subject to the orders of the engineer, 
and the general seemed impatient for the new works to be 


in a state of progression. Scarcely time was allowed the 
engineer to lay out bis works however, he had matured 
and digested Ms plan well, and nothing of consequence 
need occasion much delay. 

"The works went on extremely w r ell ; never did men be 
have better on any similar occasion, though some thought 
the immense trenches commenced entirely unnecessary. . . 
Orders had been given for them all to be kept in the 
trenches through the night, but it was so extremely dark, 
and the rain poured down in such torrents. . . . Next day 
one-third only of the army was on duty at a time, and was 
relieved every three hours. The Indians were getting to 
be very impudent, and it became necessary for us to keep 
an eye on them, and occasionally give them a few shells and 
grape. Colonel Wood." 

The ground had been covered by a heavy forest of oak 
and beech trees, which had been cleared away by immense 
labor to the distance of 200 or 300 yards from the lines. 
Some scattering trees still remained and the trunks of 
others were lying on the ground. Behind these and the 
stumps, the Indians would creep up within shooting dis 
tance, and in several instances were able to do some exe 
cution, but in general they suffered most themselves. On 
the left the trees had not been felled to so great a distance, 
and there the savages mounted into their tops with the ut 
most agility, and from those elevated stations were able 
to send forth tremendous volleys of musketry. The dis 
tance, however, was so great that but few of their balls 
took effect. 

Their ethereal annoyance, however, proved a great stim 
ulus to the militia; for although they did their duty with 
alacrity and promptitude, yet their motions were much 
accelerated by it and let who will make the experiment, 
it will be invariably found, that the movements of militia 
will be quickened by a brisk fire of musketry about their 


The enemy continued diligently to labor on their bat 
teries. On the morning of the 30th, they were ready to fix 
their cannon, which they accomplished under a warm fire 
from the fort, by which they lost several lives. A number 
of boats loaded with British as well as Indians were then 
seen crossing to the southeast side, which led the general 
to suspect that they intended to amuse him with their bat 
teries, while they would attempt to storm his works in the 
opposite direction. Orders were given for the troops who 
were not on duty, to rest with their muskets in their arms, 
so as to be ready at a moment s warning to take their posts. 

On the morning of the 1st of May, it was discovered that 
the British batteries were completed ; and about 10 :00 
o clock they appeared to be loading, and adjusting their 
guns on certain objects in the camp. By this time our 
troops had completed a grand traverse, about twelve feet 
high, upon a base of twenty feet, 300 yards long, on the 
most elevated ground through the middle of the camp, cal 
culated to ward off the shot of the enemy s batteries. Or 
ders were given for all the tents in front to be instantly re 
moved into its rear, which was effected in a few minutes 
and that beautiful prospect of cannonading and bom 
barding our lines, which but a moment before had excited 
the skill and energy of the British engineer, was now en 
tirely fled, and in its place nothing was to be seen but an 
immense shield of earth, Avhich entirely obscured the whole 
army. Not a tent nor a single person was to be seen. 
Those canvass houses, which had concealed the growth of 
the traverse from the view of the enemy, were now pro 
tected and hid in their turn. The prospect of smoking us 
out, was now at best but very faint. But as neither Gen 
eral Proctor nor his officers were yet convinced of the folly 
and futility of their laborious preparations, their batteries 
were opened and five days were spent in arduous cannonad- 


ing and bombarding to bring them to this salutary convic 
tion. A tremendous cannonade was kept up all the rest 
of the day, and shells were thrown till eleven o clock at 
night. Very little damage, however, was done in the 
camp ; one or two were killed and three or four wounded 
among the latter was Major Amos Stoddard of the 1st reg 
iment of artillery a revolutionary character, and an offi 
cer of much merit. He was wounded slightly with a piece 
of shell, and about ten days afterwards died Avith the 

The fire of the enemy was returned from the fort with 
our 18-pounders with some effect, though but sparingly 
for the stock of 18-pound shot was but small, there being 
but 360 of that size in the fort when the siege commenced, 
and about the same number of the 12-pounders. A proper 
supply of this article had not been sent with the artillery 
from Pittsburgh. The battery of the enemy supplied us 
with 12-pound shot, but they had no eighteeus, all their 
large guns being twenty-fours. On the second day they 
opened their fire again with great fury, and continued it 
all day, but without any better effect. 

It had been apprehended in camp, that the enemy, find 
ing he could not effect his object by his first plan of attack, 
would transfer his guns to the other side of the river, and 
establish batteries upon the centre or flanks of the camp. 
Works calculated to resist him in such an event had, there 
fore, been undertaken, and were already in a state of for 
wardness. On the 3rd, about 11 o clock, our expectations 
were verified. Three pieces and a howitzer were suddenly 
opened on the camp from the bushes on the left. But they 
were soon silenced, and compelled to change their position 
by a few 18-pound shot from our batteries. They resumed 
their fire again on the same side, but with no important ad 
vantages. On this day, however, they did rather more exe- 


cution from their fire on every side than they had done 
before. On the 4th their fire was again renewed, but with 
less vehemence and vivacity. Those who were serving their 
guns appeared to move as if they were executing orders 
which they disapproved, and making exertions which they 
knew would fail and to depress them still more, the troops 
in camp, when their fire was not very brisk, would show 
themselves above the intrenchments and give them three 
cheers, swinging their hats in the air. 

On the first three days the fire of the enemy was inces 
sant and tremendous; five and eight-inch shells and 24- 
pound shot had fallen in showers in the camp. Our bat 
teries at different times had been served with great effect, 
as was afterwards acknowledged by some of the principle 
officers of the enemy. But the scarcity of ammunition, 
and not knowing how long the siege might continue, had 
compelled us to economize our fire. 

"With a plenty of ammunition, we should have been 
able to have blown John Bull almost from the Miami. . . . 
It was extremely diverting to see with what pleasure and 
delight the Indians would yell, whenever in their opinion 
considerable damage was done in camp by the bursting of 
a shell. Their hanging about the camp, and occasionally 
coming pretty near, kept our lines almost constantly in a 
blaze of fire; for nothing can please a Kentuckian better 
than to get a shot at an Indian and he must be indulged. 
Colonel Wood." 

The approach of General Clay at this crisis, with a re 
inforcement of 1200 Kentuckians, requires our attention. 
Captain Oliver, the express sent from camp, found him at 
Fort Winchester, at which place the cannonading at the 
siege was distinctly heard. On the 4th the general was 
ready to descend in eighteen flats, the sides of which were 
raised high enough to cover his men from the fire of Indians 
on the banks Major David Trimble who had accompanied 


him from Kentucky, voluntarily tendered his services to 
precede the detachment in a barge with fifteen men, accom 
panied by Captain Oliver, to apprise General Harrison of 
their approach. To penetrate to the camp, thus exposed in 
an open boat, was deemed extremely hazardous. Such an 
attempt had already been made by Captain Leslie Combs, 
who was sent down in a canoe with five or six men, by 
Colonel Dudley on his arrival at Defiance. The captain 
had reached within a mile of the fort, when he was attacked 
by the Indians, and compelled to retreat, after bravely con 
tending with superior numbers till he had lost nearly all 
his men. 

It was the intention of General Clay to leave Defiance 
about 12 o clock, and to reach Camp Meigs in the night, or 
at least by daylight in the morning; but it was late in the 
evening before he got in motion, and when he arrived at 
the head of the Rapids, eighteen miles above the camp, the 
moon had gone down, and it was so dark and rainy, that 
his pilot refused to conduct him through them before day 
he was, therefore, compelled to encamp till morning. 

Major Trimble reached the fort about midnight, and 
informed General Harrison that the detachment 1100 
strong, would probably arrive about daylight. Harrison 
immediately determined to make a general sally against 
the enemy on General (.lay s arrival, for which he made 
preparations at camp, and dispatched Captain Hamilton 
and a subaltern, with the necessary orders to General Clay. 
Captain Hamilton proceeded up the river in a canoe, and 
met the detachment five miles above the fort after daylight, 
in consequence of their pilot having detained them till 
morning instead of descending in the night as at first was 
intended. The captain immediately delivered the follow 
ing orders to General Clay : 


"You must detach about 800 men from your brigade, and 
land them at a point I will show you, about a mile, or a 
mile and a half above Camp Meigs. I will then conduct 
the detachment to the British batteries on the left bank of 
the river. The batteries must be taken, the cannon spiked, 
and carriages cut down ; and the troops must then return 
to their boats and cross over to the fort. The balance of 
your men must land on the fort side of the river, opposite 
the first landing, and fight their way into the fort through 
the Indians. The route they must take will be pointed out 
by a subaltern officer now with me, who will land the canoe 
on the right bank of the river, to point out the landing 
for the boats." 

The general was also informed, that the British force 
at their batteries was inconsiderable, the main body being 
at their camp a mile and a half further down and that the 
Indians were chiefly on the same side with the fort. Gen 
eral Clay s order of descending the river was the same as 
in the line of march in solid column, each officer taking 
position according to his rank. Colonel Dudley being the 
oldest colonel led the van. As soon as Captain Hamilton 
had delivered the orders, General Clay who was in the 13th 
boat from the front, directed him to go to Colonel 
Dudley, with orders to take the twelve front boats and 
execute the plans of General Harrison on the left bank, 
and to post the subaltern with the canoe on the right bank, 
as a beacon for his landing. 

General Harrison intended, while the detachment under 
Dudley was destroying the batteries on the north side, and 
General Clay was fighting the Indians above the fort, to 
send out a party to destroy the batteries on the south side, 
but his plans were marred in the execution. 

General Clay ordered the five boats remaining with the 
one he occupied, to fall into a line after him; and in at 
tempting to do it, they were driven on shore and thus 


thrown half a mile in the rear. The general kept close to 
the right bank, intending to land opposite to the detach 
ment under Dudley, but finding no guide there, and the 
Indians having commenced a brisk fire on his boat, he 
attempted to cross to the detachment. The current, how 
ever, was so swift, that it soon carried him too far down 
for that project ; he, therefore, turned back, and landed on 
the right bank further down. Captain Peter Dudley with 
a part of his company was in this boat, making in the whole 
upwards of fifty men, who now marched into camp without 
loss amidst a shower of grape from the British batteries 
and the fire of some Indians. The boat with their baggage 
and four sick soldiers, was left as the general supposed, in 
the care of two men who met him at his landing, and by 
whom he expected she would be brought down under the 
guns of the fort. In a few minutes, however, she fell into 
the hands of the Indians. The attempt which he had made 
to cross the river induced Colonel Bos well with the rear 
boats to land on the opposite side ; but as soon as Captain 
Hamilton discovered the error under which he acted, he 
instructed him to cross over and fight his way into camp. 
When he arrived at the south side his landing was annoyed 
by the Indians; and as soon as his men were on shore he 
formed them and returned the fire of the enemy; at the 
same time he was directed by Captain Shaw from the com 
manding general, to march in open order through the plain 
to the fort. As there was now a large body of Indians on 
his flank, General Harrison determined to send out a rein 
forcement from the garrison to enable him to beat them. 

Major Alexander s battalion, composed of the Pitts 
burgh blues, the Petersburg!! volunteers, etc. ; .Major John 
son with a part of his battalion, and the companies of 
Captains Nearing and Dudley were ordered to prepare for 
this service. They were ready to join the Kentuckians as 


they arrived at the gates of the fort. Colonel Boswell then 
formed his men on the right; Major Alexander on the left; 
and Johnson in the centre. In this order they marched 
against the Indians and drove them at the point of the bay 
onet, though much superior in numbers, to the distance of 
half a mile into the woods. The greatest ardor was dis 
played by the troops, and when it became necessary to re 
turn, it was with the utmost difficulty that the officers of 
the Kentucky detachment could restrain their men from 
the pursuit. General Harrison had taken his position 
upon a battery to watch with a glass the various operations 
which at this moment claimed his attention. He discov 
ered a body of British and Indians filing along the edge of 
the woods to fall on the rear and left of the corps under 
Boswell. He immediately dispatched John T. Johnson, 
Esq., his volunteer aide, to recall them from the pursuit. 
His horse was killed under him before he could reach the 
detachment. The order was then repeated by Major 
Graham, and the reluctant though necessary retreat was 
at last commenced. The Indians then rallied and pursued 
them some distance, doing more execution while our men 
were retreating, than they had done in all the rest of the 

The detachment under Colonel Dudley in the meantime 
had made their appearance at the batteries on the other 
side of the river, and were performing their share in the 
operations of this eventful day but before we direct our 
attention to them, we will go through the occurrences on 
the south side. General Harrison now ordered a sortie 
from the fort, under the command of Col. John Miller of the 
regulars, against the batteries which had been erected on 
that side. This detachment was composed of the com 
panies and parts of companies commanded by Captains 
Langham, Croghan, Bradfore, Nearing, Elliott, and Lieut- 



enants Gwynne and Campbell, of the regulars; the volun 
teers of Alexander s battalion, and Captain Sebree s com 
pany of Kentucky militia. The whole amounted only to 
350 men. Colonel Miller accompanied by Major Todd, led 
on his command with the most determined bravery ; charged 
upon the British and drove them from their batteries; 
spiked their cannon, and took fourteen prisoners including 
an officer, having completely beaten and driven back the 
whole force of the enemy. That force consisted of 200 
British regulars, 150 Canadians, and 500 Indians, being 
considerably more than double the force of the brave de 
tachment which attacked them; but our troops charged 
with such irresistible impetuosity that nothing could with 
stand them. 

In this sortie, in which all the troops engaged were dis 
tinguished for their good order and their intrepid, impet 
uous bravery, the militia company of Captain Sebree was 
particularly noticed by the general for its uncommon merit. 
With characteristic ardor the Kentuckians rushed in 
to the thickest ranks of the enemy, and were for some 
time entirely surrounded by the Indians they still 
bravely maintained their ground against more than four 
times their number but they must ultimately have been 
cut to pieces, had not Lieutenant Gwynne of the 19th regi 
ment boldly charged upon the Indians with a part of Cap 
tain Elliott s company, and released them from their des 
perate situation. The British and Indians suffered severe 
ly, and were routed in great confusion and a few more 
men would have enabled the general to disperse and cap 
ture the whole force of the enemy remaining on the south 
side of the river, Colonel Miller now returned to the fort 
with his prisoners, having lost many brave men on the field, 
and had several of his officers wounded. As he retired the 


enemy rallied and pressed hard on his rear, till he arrived 
near the breastwork. 

The operations on the north side of the river will now 
claim our attention. The detachment under Dudley 
effected a landing in tolerably good order, considering the 
roughness of the Rapids and the swiftness of the current, 
and were immediately inarched off through the open plain 
to the hill, which was covered with timber. No specific 
orders were given by the colonel ; even his majors were left 
to conjecture the object of the enterprise. After marching 
some distance, the troops were formed into three columns : 
Colonel Dudley commanded at the head of the right ; Major 
Shelby on the left, and Captain Morrison, acting as major, 
in the centre. The right column kept the edge of the woods 
on the brow of the hill, which was in some places half a 
mile from the river, across the open bottom. The centre 
column marched parallel to the first, at the distance of 150 
yards in the woods; and the left, a similar distance still 
further out. The distance to the batteries of the enemy 
was two miles, but they were in full view from the ridge 
on which Winchester had encamped, and above which the 
colonel inarched unperceived by the enemy into the woods. 
When the detachment arrived within half a mile of the bat 
teries, which were cannonading the camp, Major Shelby 
was ordered on the suggestion of Captain Hamilton, to 
march the left forward as expeditiously as possible, till its 
rear passed the head of the other two columns, and then to 
wheel to the right and march towards the river. The bat 
teries were thus to be surrounded, and the whole of the 
British force captured and destroyed; but while the other 
columns were still several hundred yards from the bat 
teries, they raised the Indian yell, charged upon them at 
full speed, and carried them without the loss of a man, 


having frightened off the few artillerists who were serving 
them, almost without knowing by whom they were assailed. 
The most complete success was thus achieved as re 
spected the great object of the enterprise. The Britsh 
flag was cut down, and the shouts of the garrison an 
nounced their joy at this consummation of their wishes. 
General Harrison was standing on the grand battery next 
the river, and now called to the men, and made signs to 
them, to retreat to their boats but all in vain they re 
mained at the batteries for some time, viewing the curiosi 
ties of the place, and without destro3 7 ing the carriages, 
magazines, or even spiking the whole of the cannon. The 
general at last offered a reward to any person, who would 
cross the river and order them to retreat. Lieutenant 
Campbell undertook to perform this service, but before he 
could get over, the fate of the detachment was decided. 
About the time the batteries were taken, a body of Indians 
lying in ambush had fired on a party of spies under Cap 
tain Combs, who had marched down on the left of Major 
Shelby. Presently, Colonel Dudley gave orders to rein 
force the spies, and the greater part of the right and centre 
columns rushed into the woods in confusion, with their col 
onel among them, to fight the Indians whom they routed 
and pursued near two miles from the batteries The left 
column remained in possession of the ground till the fugi 
tive artillerists returned with a reinforcement from the 
main British camp and attacked them. Some of them were 
then made prisoners at the battery, others fled to their 
boats, and a part who were rallied by the exertions of their 
major, were marched by him to the aid of Colonel Dudley 
The Indians had also been reinforced, and the confusion 
in which Major Shelby found the men under Dudley, was 
as great as to amount to a cessation of resistance, while the 
savages skulking around them, continued the work of de- 


struction in safety. At last a retreat commenced in dis 
order, but the greater part of the men were either captured 
by the Indians, or surrendered to the British at the batter 
ies. Colonel Dudley after being wounded was overtaken 
and dispatched by the tomahawk. The number of all those 
who escaped and got into the fort from the whole detach 
ment, was considerably below 200. Had the orders which 
Colonel Dudley received been regarded, or a proper judg 
ment exercised on that occasion, the day would certainly 
have been an important one for the country, and a glor 
ious one for the army. Everything might have been accom 
plished agreeably to the wishes and instruction of the gen 
eral, with the loss of but few men. 

When the approach of the detachment under Dudley 
was reported to Proctor, he supposed it to be the main force 
of the American army; from which he was apprehensive 
that he might sustain a total defeat, he therefore, recalled a 
large portion of his troops from the opposite shore. They 
did not arrive in time, however, to partake in the contest 
on the north side. Tecumseh was among them. 

The prisoners were taken down to headquarters, put 
into Fort Miami, and the Indians permitted to garnish the 
surrounding rampart, and to amuse themselves by loading 
and firing at the crowd, or at any particular individual. 
Those who preferred to inflict a still more and cruel and 
savage death, selected their victims, led them to the gate 
way, and there under the eye of General Proctor, and in 
the presence of the whole British army, tomahawked and 
scalped them. This work of destruction continued nearly 
two hours, during which time upwards of twenty prisoners, 
defenseless and confined, were massacred in the presence of 
the magnanimous Britons to whom they had surrendered, 
and by the allies too with whom those Britons had volun 
tarily associated themselves, knowing and encouraging 


their mode of warfare. The chiefs at the same time were 
holding a council on the fate of the prisoners, in which the 
Potawatamies who were painted black were for killing the 
whole, and by their warriors the murders were perpetrated. 
The Miamies and Wyandots were on the side of humanity 
and opposed the wishes of the others. The dispute between 
them had become serious when Colonel Elliott and Tecum- 
seli came down from the batteries to the scene of carnage. 
As soon as Tecumseh beheld it, he flourished his sword 
and in a loud voice ordered them "for shame to desist. 
It is a disgrace to kill a defenseless prisoner." 

His orders were obeyed, to the great joy of the prisoners, 
who had by this time lost all hopes of being preserved. In 
this single act, Tecumseh displayed more humanity, mag 
nanimity, and civilization, than Proctor with all his Brit 
ish associates in command, displayed through the whole 
war on the north western frontiers. 

The prisoners were kept in the same place till dark, 
during which time the wounded experienced the most ex 
cruciating torments. They were taken into the British 
boats and carried down the river to the brig Hunter and a 
schooner, where several hundred of them were stowed away 
in the hold of the brig, and kept there for two days and 
nights. Their sufferings in this situation are not to be 
described by me ; I leave them to be imagined by those who 
can feel for the wrongs of their country. They were finally 
liberated on parole and landed at the mouth of Huron river 
below the Sandusky bay. General Proctor made a propo 
sition to exchange the Kentucky militia for the friendly 
Indians residing within our frontiers men who were not 
prisoners to us, but our friends who had taken no part in 
the war. Whether he made this proposal by way of insult, 
or for the purpose of recruiting his allies, is known only to 
himself. General Harrison through courtesy told him 


he would refer the subject to the consideration of the 

After the termination of the fighting on the 5th, no more 
occurred worthy of notice while the enemy continued the 
siege. Immediately after the firing had ceased on that 
day, General Proctor sent Major Chambers over to demand 
the surrender of the fort. Harrison replied to the propo 
sition, that he considered it an insult, and requested that it 
might not be repeated. The demand was made as a finesse, 
to prevent us from molesting him in the retreat which he 
meditated. Intelligence of the capture of Port George by 
the American forces under General Dearborn, was now 
received at the British camp, which considerably alarmed 
General Proctor. His situation appeared to be hazardous 
for the wind now blew constantly up the river Harri 
son s forces he expected would soon be reinforced, and the 
Indians began to desert his standard in great numbers. 
He had flattered them with the hopes of splendid success 
and rich rewards. The Prophet and his followers were 
to have the Michigan territory for their services in cap 
turing the fort ; and General Harrison was to be delivered 
into the hands of Tecumseh. But their prospects were now 
completely reversed; and it is a rule with them to follow 
the fortunate and adhere to the strong. Proctor now saw, 
that if he was delayed much longer he would probably be 
captured, and leave Upper Canada unprotected, as rein 
forcements were not to be expected there, while the Amer 
ican arms were successful below. He, therefore, made 
his arrangements to retreat as soon as possible. Nearly 
all the Indians had left him very much dissatisfied; and 
during the night of the 8th a considerable stir was ap 
parent in his camp early next morning his troops were 
seen to be moving off. A sloop and several gunboats were 
near the camp receiving the artillery and baggage, and on 


them our batteries were opened as long as they remained 
in that situation. Major Chambers had promised on the 
part of General Proctor to furnish us with a list of pris 
oners in his possession; but he retreated with too much 
precipitation to comply. He left a quantity of cannon 
ball, with a fine sling carriage, and several other valuable 
articles. He had, however, shared with the Indians in the 
plunder of the boats, in which the Kentucky militia had 
descended, after a few of them had been brought over to 
the fort by those who escaped from the defeat. 

The whole force of the enemy at the siege was about 
600 regulars, 800 Canadian militia, and 1800 Indians. 
The force in the fort did not much exceed 1200, and per 
haps not more than 1000 effectives, who had to defend a for 
tification large enough for three times that number. 

On the day after the enemy had retreated, a detach 
ment w r as sent over the river to collect and bury the dead. 
After a diligent search, 45 bodies were found on the battle 
ground and buried ; among them was Colonel Dudley, who 
was very much cut to pieces. Beside these, there were a 
few found in other places, which with those massacred at 
the old fort, would make the number of killed upward of 
70. The Indians had also kept between thirty and forty pris 
oners, having concealed them on the evening after the bat 
tle, and hurried them off next day to prevent them from be 
ing delivered up. In the two sorties from the fort, and in 
the fort during the siege, our loss was eighty-one killed, and 
189 wounded among the latter were Major Stoddard, who 
afterwards died of a locked jaw, and the gallant Captain 
Bradford, shot through both thighs, of which he recovered; 
also Major Hukil, slightly. An unusual number of the 
wounded were carried off, in consequence of exposure dur 
ing the siege ; and from the same cause, a considerable de 
gree of sickness began to prevail among the troops. 


The loss of the British and Indians could not be ascer 
tained; but it was undoubtedly very severe. In the 
romance, which Governor Prevost styled a general order, 
he stated the loss of regulars and militia at fifteen killed, 
and forty-six wounded ! In the same Gulliverian produc 
tion, he says : 

"The commanding general has great satisfaction in 
announcing to the troops, the brilliant result of an action, 
which took place on the banks of the Miami river, on the 
5th inst. with part of the northwestern army of the United 
States under Major General Harrison, and which termi 
nated in the complete defeat of the enemy, and capture, 
dispersion, or destruction of thirteen hundred men, by the 
gallant division of the army under General Proctor. Five 
hundred prisoners were taken, exclusive of those who fell 
into the hands of the Indians." 

The defeat of Colonel Dudley very naturally became the 
subject of much speculation in Kentucky, and a consider 
able diversity of opinion existed, respecting the causes of 
the disaster and the actors concerned in it. The subject, 
however, appears very plain. Those who were in the de 
feat, commonly attribute it, very justly, to their own im 
prudence and zeal, which were not properly controlled 
and directed by the orders and example of their leader. 
There was nothing difficult or hazardous in the enterprise 
the whole misfortune resulted from the imprudent man 
ner of its execution. The batteries were easily taken, and 
the retreat was perfectly secure; but the detachment 
wanted a head to direct and restrain its Kentucky impet 
uosity to its proper object. 

"It rarely occurs that a general has to complain of the 
excessive ardor of his men yet such appears always to be 
the case when the Kentucky militia are engaged. It is, 
indeed, the source of all their misfortunes ; they appear to 
think that valor alone can accomplish everything" 


General Harrison in his orders after this battle had been 

The following letter from General Harrison, dated at 
Franklinton on the 18th of May, to Governor Shelby, of 
Kentucky, to whom he was accustomed to communicate 
his sentiments without reserve, will throw much additional 
light on the plan of this battle and the manner of its exe 

"In the extra Gazette of this place you will find Gen 
eral Clay s report to me, of his proceedings on the morning 
of the 5th inst. by which you will perceive that my orders 
were clearly delivered to him; and I have no doubt were 
well understood by Colonel Dudley; and nothing could be 
more easy of execution. I had no less than four 18- 
pounders, a 12, and a 6, so placed as to cover their retreat 
effectually for two-thirds of their way to their boats. 
But it appears that no disposition was made for a retreat ; 
and some of those who got off assert, that neither of the 
majors knew the object, or the manner it was to be exe 
cuted. Nothing can prove more clearly the ease with 
which the whole party might have retired to the boats, 
than the circumstance of upwards of 180 having effected 
with the encumbrance of some wounded. They were pur 
sued by some Indians who dared not enter the open plain 
which skirted the river, and did our men little or no injury. 
Never was there an opportunity more favorable to strike 
a brilliant stroke, than was presented on this occasion, if 
the plan had been properly carried out. When Colonel 
Dudley made the attack on the north side of the river, ten 
boats loaded with troops were crossed a mile and a half 
below, but did not get to the scene of action till it was over. 
Had Colonel Dudley retreated after having taken the bat 
teries, or had he made a disposition to retreat in case of 
defeat, all would have been well. He could have crossed 
the river, and even if he had lost one or two hundred men, 
he would have brought me a reinforcement of 600, which 
would have enabled me to take the whole British force on 
this side of the river. The Indians would then have aban- 


doned General Proctor ; and as the wind blew up the river, 
so that he could not get off, the whole of his regulars and 
militia must have been captured. If I could have spared 
a reinforcement of 200 men only to Colonel Miller, the 
British regulars and militia would have all been taken, be 
fore they could have crossed the river. But I had not a 
single company to spare, as at the suggestion of General 
Clay I had sent off under his command, all that part of his 
brigade, which had reached the fort, and all the dragoons 
I could mount, to assist Colonel Dudley in recrossing the 
river, and was thus deprived of their services at a most 
critical moment. That the Indians would have abandoned 
the British that very night, in case they had not succeeded 
against Colonel Dudley, is evident from numbers having 
left them with that circumstance in the favor. 

"I can say with confidence, that the plan of the attack 
was approbated by every officer that witnessed the scene. 
Even the British officers acknowledge, that they were com 
pletely surprised, and that they had not the least idea of 
our intention, until it burst upon them, by the commence 
ment of the firing on this side, after they had weakened 
themselves by making detachments to the other, that were 
of no use as they did not arrive in time. I believe every 
candid man in both armies will admit, that an unlucky 
blunder saved that of the enemy from destruction." 

All the troops engaged in the defense of Fort Meigs 
distinguished themselves by their unexampled good con 
duct. The intrepid bravery and skill with Avhich the sortie 
was executed by the regulars commanded by Colonel Miller, 
were not surpassed on any other occasion in the whole war. 
The battalion of volunteers under Major Alexander were 
equally distinguished in the same sally. That battalion 
consisted of a small company of riflemen, raised in the 
neighborhood of Greensburg in Pennsylvania, and origin 
ally commanded by Alexander as captain a company of 
light infantry from Pittsburgh, under the command of 
Captain James Butler, a worthy son of General Butler 


who fell in St. Glair s defeat and a company of light in 
fantry from Petersburg in Virginia commanded by Cap 
tain M Rae, who had requested the government to send 
them to the northwestern army, that they might serve 
under their countryman General Harrison. The privates 
in this battalion were mostly young gentlemen of affluence, 
or at least in easy circumstances, and of the most respect 
able families who had volunteered their services from 
motives of patriotism. Having been tenderly raised, they 
were not well qualified to sustain the hardships of a nortU- 
western campaign in the winter season; but on all occa 
sions they distinguished themselves by their gallantry and 
good conduct. The Pittsburgh company in the opinion of 
the general was equal in discipline, particularly in the 
precision with which it performed its evolutions, to any 
regulars he had ever seen. He was also entirely satisfied 
with the conduct of the Ohio regiment under Colonel Mills. 
General Harrison having ascertained, that the enemy 
had abandoned his hopes of reducing Fort Meigs for the 
present, and had retreated from the American territory, 
deemed it unnecessary for him to confine himself to that 
place any longer, as his attention to the recruiting service 
and other matters would be more important. He, there 
fore, left General Clay in the command of the garrison, 
having much confidence in his abilities ; and proceeded with 
an escort of Major Ball s squadron, whose horses had been 
preserved in the fort during the siege, to Lower Sandusky 
where he arrived on the evening of the 12th. His business 
there was to provide for the better protection of that place 
and Cleveland ; and for the security of the prisoners, who 
were to march from Huron through the wilderness to 
Mansfield. He sent them arms and ammunition to pro 
tect themselves against the Indians, and had the country 


reconnoitered between Lower Sandusky and the lake 
through which the Indians must pass to attack them. 

"He thought these steps proper, although he had the 
solemn promise of General Proctor, that the Indians should 
not be suffered to go in that direction." 

The prisoners were landed at Huron agreeably to the 
stipulation with General Harrison, from which place 
some of them proceeded by the most direct route to Chilli- 
cothe, while others went by the way of Cleveland for the 
sake of keeping in the settlements for the convenience of 
subsistence. General Harrison also went into the interior 
from Lower Sandusky. 

The reader will recollect, that General Harrison on his 
way to Fort Meigs, had called on the governor of Ken 
tucky for the other two regiments, which has been or 
ganized in that State; and that he afterwards directed 
them not to be sent. Before the second dispatch was re 
ceived, they had rendezvoused at Frankfort, and were 
waiting for further orders. Governor Shelby then dis 
banded them ; and as they had already been put to consid 
erable inconvenience, in arranging their private affairs 
and equipping themselves for a tour of six months, it was 
deemed too burdensome still to hold them in readiness to 
march, and they were, therefore, exonerated from further 
service under the law in pursuance of which they had been 
organized. These measures produced considerable fer 
ment in the public mind, as it was known a few days after 
wards that the British had invested Fort Meigs. The 
people were very anxious to overwhelm Upper Canada in 
the approaching summer, and were impatient at anything 
which looked like delay and imbecility. They did not well 
understand the policy of the government, in merely acting 
on the defensive, till the command of the lake should be 


obtained ; and they did not perceive that any efficient prep 
arations were making for another campaign. 

In the State of Ohio the most active exertions had been 
made to raise reinforcements for the relief of F ort Meigs. 
When apprehensions of an attack on that place had first 
been excited, the governor of Ohio had taken precautionary 
measures, having on the 19th of April detached two com 
panies of militia to Lower Sandusky, four to Upper San- 
dusky, and two to Franklinton, to relieve the garrisons at 
the former places, and be ready to perform such other ser 
vices as the occasion might require. And when the dis 
patch from General Harrison was received, in which he 
informed the governor, that "the heads of the enemy s 
columns were in sight, and the Indians in view on both 
sides of the river," he commenced the most active exertions 
to call out a mounted force, to repair immediately to the 
scene of operations. He issued a proclamation, calling on 
the patriotism of the citizens, for the defense of this coun 
ty. In a few days a number of companies and detach 
ments rendezvoused at Frankliuton, drew arms and other 
necessaries, and marched towards Upper Sandusky. Scout 
ing parties were sent on, to ascertain if possible the situa 
tion of the fort. The governor on the 3rd of May addressed 
a letter to General M Arthur, requesting him to use his 
influence to raise volunteers, and suggesting the propriety 
of employing to the best advantage, the twelve month s 
regulars under him and General Cass. He stated that his 
object was, to force his way to Fort Meigs if necessary, and 
in any event to protect the stores at Upper Sandusky, and 
relieve the frontier inhabitants from the panic which had 
seized them. Great alarm, indeed, prevailed throughout 
the whole State, and great exertions were made in every 
place by men of patriotism and influence. A mounted 
force, upwards of three thousand strong, was thus raised 


within five days from the time these exertions commenced. 
By the 8th of May some of the infantry companies, detached 
in April, arrived at Lower Sandusky ; and at the same time 
500 mounted men reached Upper Sandusky on the next 
day they were one thousand strong Governor Meigs was 
in the front, and marched with them towards Lower San 
dusky, where they arrived on the llth, and would have 
proceeded next day to the Rapids. But information now 
reached them, that the enemy had retreated; and on the 
next day General Harrison arrived at Lower Sandusky 
himself. Measures were immediately taken to stop those 
who were advancing in the rear; and on the 14th, those 
who had arrived at the headquarters of the governor, were 
disbanded by a general order, in which they received the 
thanks of the Commander-in-chief, and were justly ap 
plauded for the patriotic ardor and alacrity, with which 
they had repaired to the standard of their country. 

It was fortunate for the American cause, that the en 
terprise of General Proctor against Fort Meigs was delayed 
so long. Had he been ready to sail as soon as the lake 
became navigable, and so timed his movements as to arrive 
at the fort during the first week in April, immediately 
after the last militia of the winter campaign were dis 
charged, and before General Harrison arrived with rein 
forcements, he must have succeeded against that post. 
The garrison was then left very weak, being considerably 
less than 500 effectives. The works, too, were then very 
incomplete, and entirely too large for that number, as the 
fortified camp included seven or eight acres of ground. 
The place was still with propriety denominated Camp 
Meigs, more frequently that it was styled a fort. Its cap 
ture would have been a most serious loss, as it contained 
nearly all the artillery and military stores of the north 
western army, besides a large amount of provisions. Gen- 


eral Harrison repeatedly in the winter had pressed on the 
attention of the government, the necessity of preparing a 
force to take the place of the militia then in service; but 
instead of doing this, we have seen, that the new secretary, 
at the critical moment when the last of those troops were 
disbanded, restricted General Harrison to the use of regu 
lars, which were still to be levied in a country, where it is 
almost impossible to raise a regiment of regulars through 
the whole year. Without the aid of the Ohio and Ken 
tucky militia, which the general called into service with 
out the authority, and contrary to the views of the war 
department, it is highly probable, that the important post 
at the Rapids would have been lost. 

When General Proctor returned to Maiden, the militia 
was disbanded, and his Indians were distributed in differ 
ent cantonments. The Chippeways returned home; the 
Potawatamies were stationed about 6 miles up the river 
Rouge, where old Five-Medal and Knoxas lived ; the Miain- 
ies were encamped round Brownstown with the Wyandots, 
and also up the river Detroit as far as Magauga. They 
were employed by the British as scouts, a party being 
sent regularly once a week into the vicinity of camp 
Meigs. Some of them hunted a little, but none of them pre 
tended to plant corn, as they were regularly supplied with, 
rations from Maiden and Detroit. 

The naval preparations to obtain the ascendency on the 
lake, were in the meantime progressing with rapidity, 
though still far from being complete at the middle of May, 
the period fixed for their completion by the war depart 
ment. Captain Perry of the navy, who had for some time 
commanded at Newport, Rhode Island, was designated in 
March for the command of the naval forces on Lake Erie, 
by Commodore Chauncey, who was commander-in-chief on 
the lakes. He came on to the town of Erie soon after- 


wards, having assisted on his way in the capture of Fort 
George by General Dearborn, and took upon himself to 
superintend the erection of the navy which lie was destined 
to command. The harbor of Erie is an excellent place for 
the business he had to accomplish. The bay is nearly sur 
rounded by land, and its narrow entrance is so shallow, 
that heavy armed vessels cannot pass it. Hence, the enemy 
could derive no advantage from his naval superiority in 
an attempt to destroy our vessels on the stocks. A regi 
ment of Pennsylvania, militia was stationed there for their 
protection. Captain Jessup was also directed by the war 
department, early in March, to repair to Cleveland and su 
perintend the construction of boats, to aid in the transpor 
tation of the northwestern army; and 200 of the Ohio mili 
tia were stationed there to protect the work. 




In the early part of the campaign of 1812, Colonel 
R. M. Johnson had personally witnessed the great effi 
ciency and usefulness of mounted riflemen, employed 
against the Indians and was hence induced, when he re 
turned to Congress, to lay before the war department, a 
plan for a mounted expedition against the Indians during 
the ensuing winter. The object of the expedition was to 
destroy the subsistence of the Indians and otherwise dis 
able them, so as to prevent their committing depredations 
in the spring to revenge the destruction of their villages on 
the Wabash and Elk Hart rivers. The good effect to be 
expected from its execution were more distinctly stated to 
be - - security to the northwestern frontiers from Fort 
Wayne to the Mississippi safety to the convoys of provi 
sions for in the spring and the neutrality of the savages 
in future, from the powerful impression that would be 
made on their fears. It was believed that the winter sea 
son would favor the enterprise, by enabling the horsemen, 
while snow was on the ground and the leaves off the 
bushes, to hunt up and destroy the skulking Indians. 

The force to be employed, and its organization, were 
proposed to be two regiments, including in each eight com 
panies of eighty privates, and making altogether 1,280 men. 
This was deemed amply sufficient to traverse the whole In 
dian country, from Fort Wayne past the lower end of Lake 



Michigan, round by the Illinois River, and back to the Ohio 
near Louisville; and to disperse and destroy all the tribes 
of Indians and their resources to be found within that com 
pass. The proposition was also communicated by Colonel 
Johnson to the governor of Kentucky, and was submitted 
by the secretary of war to General Harrison, in a letter 
dated 26th of December, 1812, from which the following is 
an extract. 

"The President has it in contemplation, to set on foot 
an expedition from Kentucky of about 1,000 mounted men, 
to pass by Fort Wayne, the lower end of Lake Michigan, 
and round by the Illinois back to the Ohio near Louisville, 
for the purpose of scouring that country, destroying the 
provisions collected in the Indian villages, scourging the 
Indians themselves, and disabling them from interfering 
with your operations. It is expected that this expedition 
will commence in February; and it will terminate in a few 
weeks. I give you the information, that you may take it 
into consideration in the estimate of those arrangements, 
you may find it necessary to make, for carrying into effect 
the objects of the government. I send you a copy of the 
proposed plan, on which I wish to hear from you without 
delay. You will particularly state, whether you can effect 
these objects in the manner which is suggested, by adequate 
portions of the force now in the field; and in that case, 
whether it will be better to suspend the movement of this 
force until the spring/ Monroe. 

General Harrison had already anticipated in part, the 
objects of the proposed expedition, by sending Colonel 
Campbell to Mississiniway, and was dissuaded by that ex 
periment from attempting any thing more extensive dur 
ing the winter-. It was also already so late in the season, 
that the hard freezing would be over, before the proposed 
force could be raised and inarched through the Indian 
country; and its progress would, therefore, be arrested by 
impassable swamps during the wet weather in the spring. 


The general intended, however, to follow up the blow oil the 
Mississiniway, by striking at the main village farther 
down that river, and had visited Chillicothe to engage gov 
ernor Meigs to organize new corps of mounted men, to act 
with the dragoons then in service. The governor promptly 
co-operated in the measure, but on ascertaining the situa 
tion of the dragoons, they were 1 found to be so frost-bitten, 
and their horses so reduced, that they were wholly unfit 
for further service during the winter; and the intended 
stroke was afterwards abandoned. The following are the 
views of General Harrison, respecting the proposition of 
Colonel Johnson, which are extracted from letters to the 
war department of the 4th and 8th of January : 

"I am sorry not to be able to agree with my friend, 
Colonel Johnson, upon the propriety of the contemplated 
mounted expeditions. An expedition of this kind directed 
against a particular tow T n will probably succeed. The In 
dian towns cannot be surprised in succession, as they give 
the alarm from one to the other with more rapidity than 
our troops can move. In the months of February, March, 
and April, the towns are all abandoned. The men are 
hunting, and the women and children, particularly to the 
north of the Wabash, are scattered about making sugar. 
The corn is in that season universally hid in small parcels 
in the earth, and could not be found. There are no con 
siderable villages in that direction. Those that are there, 
are composed of bark huts, which the Indians do not care 
for, and which during the winter are entirely empty. The 
detachment might pass through the whole extent of coun 
try to be scoured, without seeing an Indian, except at the 
first town they struck, and it is more than probable that 
they would find it empty. But the expedition is imprac 
ticable to the extent proposed. The horses, if not the men, 
would perish. The horses that are now to be found, are 
not like those of the early settlers, and such as the Indians 
and traders now have. They have been accustomed to 
corn, and must have it. Colonel Campbell went TO or 80 


miles from the frontiers, and the greater part of his horses 
could scarcely be brought in. Such an expedition in the 
summer and fall would be highly advantageous, because 
the Indians are then at their towns, and their corn can be 
destroyed. An attack upon a particular town in the win 
ter, when the inhabitants are at it, as we know they are at 
Mississiniway, and which is so near as to enable the de 
tachment to reach it without killing their horses, is not 
only practicable, but if there is snow on the ground, is 
perhaps the most favorable." 

January 8th "The expedition contemplated from Ken 
tucky may supercede the necessity of that which I was 
proposing. But I am still of the opinion given in my last, 
that no attempt on the enemy beyond Mississiniway would 
be attended with any advantage, if it did not end in the 
destruction of the detachment employed to execute it, I 
repeat that the Indians are not at this season to be found 
in their towns, that they invariably take their families with 
them upon their hunting excursions, and that their provi 
sions are always buried in small parcels, each family hid 
ing its own." 

In consequence of these suggestions, the winter expedi 
tion was abandoned, and the attention of the government 
was directed to the organization of a mounted corps for 
the spring. Accordingly, General Armstrong, who was now 
secretary of war, gave the following authority to Colonel 
Johnson, on the 26th of February, 1813 : 

"Sir, you are hereby authorized to organize and hold in 
readiness, a regiment of mounted volunteers the organi 
zation as to the number of officers and men, to be conform 
able to the military establishment of the United States. 
The governor of the State of Kentucky will be required to 
commission the officers when selected, to serve four months 
after being called into actual service ; and six months if re 
quired by the United States the pay of the officers and 
men to commence from the actual service and march of the 
corps, under the direction of the war department. After 
marching orders, the contractors 1 and commissaries agents 


in the different districts through which it passes, will sup 
ply the regiment with forage for the horses, and provision 
for the men, if required so to do. The keepers of military 
stores will also furnish said corps with ammunition on 
regular returns of the effective force of the regiment. If 
any difficulty arises as to rank, the commanding general 
will settle the same, after the corps shall have reached its 
place of destination. " Armstrong. 

As soon as Congress adjourned, Colonel Johnson hast 
ened to Kentucky with feelings of indignation at the cruel 
ties inflicted on his fellow-citizens at the river Raisin ; and 
on the 22nd of March published the above authority, ac 
companied by an address on the subject of raising the men, 
in which he appealed to the patriotism of the citizens, and 
detailed the terms, equipments, and prospects of the serv 
ice. He immediately selected individuals to raise companies 
in different parts of the State the platoon and other offi 
cers to be chosen by the men who enrolled themselves, as 
this mode was deemed most consistent with the principle 
of volunteering. The service w r as exactly of that kind, 
which suited the habits and views of the Kentuckians ; and 
as much zeal to avenge the wrongs they had endured, was 
now prevalent among the people, the regiment was soon 
filled, and in a few weeks was ready to take the field, al 
though the personal enemies of Colonel Johnson, and the 
opposers of the administration, made considerable opposi 
tion to the measure, which they represented as an irregular 
and unconstitutional exercise of authority. The organiza 
tion was submitted to Governor Shelby, who aided in pro 
curing the necessary funds to enable the colonel to accom 
modate his men. Captain James Johnson, his brother, a 
man of sterling merit and undaunted bravery, received the 
appointment of lieutenant colonel of the regiment the 
honorable Samuel M Kee, a representative in 


and Colonel Duval Payne, were selected as majors. Mr. 
M Kee declined the appointment, and Colonel D. Thomp 
son accepted it. They were all men of high standing and 
genuine patriots. 

After the discharge of the regiment under Cox and 
Caldwell, the public attention was fixed on the mounted 
regiment, as the only efficient corps in Kentucky, by which 
Fort Meigs could be relieved and the frontiers protected ; 
and Colonel Johnson, young, ardent and enterprising, 
anxiously wished for a theater, on which he might dis 
tinguish himself in the cause of his country, and was much 
pleased, soon after the intelligence of the siege had arrived, 
to receive a letter from Governor Shelby, from which the 
following are extracts : 

"The information received from various sources, of an 
attack on Fort Meigs, by a large body of the British and 
Indians, justified a belief that a reinforcement ought to be 
sent to the aid of General Harrison. The enemy can be met 
only by horsemen, and as you have a regiment of mounted 
infantry nearly organized, the crisis will, in my opinion, 
justify its immediate march to the scene of operations. 
You have my entire approbation and sanction to do so. I 
will, in conformity with the wishes of the secretary of war, 
expressed in his order of the 26th of February, under which 
the regiment was raised, issue commissions to the officers; 
and as far as depends on the executive of this State, the 
men who march under you shall be allowed tours of duty, 
according to the time they may be in service. Captains 
Whitaker, Coleman, and Payne, have each raised a com 
pany of cavalry, they have my approbation to join your 
regiment, and in case they do so, will be commissioned ac 

"The officers and men must look to the general govern 
ment alone for a compensation for their services. 1 Shelby. 

Upon the authority of the above letter, Colonel Johnson 
immediately issued an order for his regiment to assemble. 


"The regiment of mounted volunteers was organized 
under the authority of the Avar department, to await its 
call, or to meet any crisis which might involve the honor, 
the rights and the safety of the country. That crisis has 
arrived. Fort Meigs is attacked. The northwestern army 
is surrounded by the enemy, and under the command of 
General Harrison, is nobly defending the cause of the coun 
try against a combined enemy, the British and Indians. 
They will maintain their ground till relieved. The inter 
mediate garrisons are also in imminent danger, and may 
fall a bleeding sacrifice to savage cruelty, unless timely re 
inforced. Tlie frontiers may be deluged in blood. The 
mounted regiment will present a shield to the defenceless ; 
and united with the forces now marching, and the Ohio 
volunteers for the same purpose, will drive the enemy from 
our soil. Therefore, on Thursday, the 20th of May, the 
regiment will rendezvous at the Great Crossings in Scott 
County, except the companies, etc., which will rendezvous 
on the 22nd at Newport at which place the whole corps 
will draw arms, ammunition, etc." 1\. M. Johnson. 

In pursuance of this order, the companies of Captains 
Stucker, M Afee, Davidson, Ellison, and Combs, and sever 
al small fractions, rendezvoused in Scott on the 20th ; and 
Captains Matson, Coleman, Payne, Warfield, and Craig, 
met at Newport on the 22nd. As the former companies 
Avere inarching on the 21st towards Newport, they met 
John T. Johnson esq. volunteer aid to General Harrison, 
with the following general order : 

"Headquarters, Franklinton, May 16th, 1813. The com 
manding general has observed with the warmest gratitude, 
the astonishing exertions, which have been made by his ex 
cellency, Governor Meigs, and the generals and other mili 
tia officers of this State, in collecting and equiping a body 
of troops for the relief of Camp Meigs. But the efforts of 
these men would have been unavailing, had they not been 
seconded by the patriotic ardor of every description of citi 
zens, which has induced them to leave their homes, at a 
most critical season of the year, regardless of every con- 


sideratiou, but that of rendering service to their country. 
The general found the road from Lower Sandusky to this 
place literally covered with men, and amongst them many 
who had shared in the toils and dangers of the revolution 
ary war, and on whom, of course, there existed no legal 
claims for military services. The general has every reason 
to believe that similar efforts have been made in Kentucky. 
He offers to all these brave men from both States his sin 
cere acknowledgments ; and is happy to inform them that 
there is at present no necessity for their longer continuance 
in the field. The enemy has fled with precipitation from 
Camp Meigs, and that is in a much better situation to re 
sist an attack, than when the last siege was commenced. 
"By order of the general, 

"R. Graham, Aide." 

This order excited considerable murmurs in the State 
of Ohio. The volunteers had marched under the expecta 
tion of being led immediately against the enemy; and they 
reflected on General Harrison and the government for be 
ing too tardy in their movements. Those who understood 
the situation of the country, and the difficulty of supplying 
a large army through a swampy wilderness of 140 miles in 
extent, were, however, satisfied that nothing better could 
be done. There being a necessity in the first instance for 
obtaining the command of the lake, for which the greatest 
exertions were making, it would have been extravagant 
folly to retain so large a mounted force in service at Fort 
Meigs, or to have led them through the wilderness against 
the enemy. 

When the order met the front companies in Johnson s 
regiment, it was understood as disbanding that regiment 
also, and produced much depression and chagrin among 
the men. Some of the companies turned back a few miles, 
and at length a halt was called till Colonel Johnson should 
arrive, who had been detained a few hours in the roar. 
When he came up, he did not consider the order as even dis- 


charging the regiment from present service, and deter 
mined to march on, at least, till he received the positive 
orders of General Harrison on that subject. This deter 
mination restored harmony and cheerfulness to the ranks, 
and the march was resumed with new devotion to their 

Colonel Johnson went on before them to Newport, to 
organize the balance of the regiment, and receive orders 
from General Harrison, who had returned to Cincinnati 
on a visit to his family ; and on the next day these compan 
ies were ordered by the lieutenant colonel to proceed by 
way of the north bend of the Ohio River, above the mouth 
of the Big Miami, where they arrived on the 24th, and re 
ceived information that the regiment was received into the 
sendee of the United States by General Harrison. Their 
colonel was ordered by General Harrison to take command 
of Fort Wayne and the posts on the Auglaize, to scour the 
northwestern frontiers, to make incursions into the coun 
try of the Indians, and if possible to cut off small parties, 
who might infest the forts, or be marching from the Illinois 
and Wabash towards Maiden and Detroit; and never to 
remain at one place more than three days. As the regiment 
would be employed in this manner for some time, before 
the expedition against Maiden could be put in motion, 
Colonel Johnson now gave his captains permission to send 
back an officer from each company, to raise more men. They 
were to meet the regiment at Fort Winchester on the 18th 
of June, at which time it was believed the fleet would cer 
tainly have command of the lake. Three lieutenants re 
turned on this recruiting service, and the balance then 
crossed the river and marched up the Big Miami on the 
26th. They arrived and formed a junction with, the other 
part of the regiment on the 28th, at Dayton. 


The organization of the regiment was here finally com 
pleted as follows: 

R. M. Johnson, colonel. James Johnson, lieutenant 

First Battaliau Duval Payne, major; R. 13. M Afee, 
Richard Matson, Jacob Elliston, Benjamin \Varliekl, John 
Payne (cavalry) ; Ellijah Craig, captains. 

Second Battalion David Thompson, major ; Jacob 
Stucker, James Davidson, S. R. Combs, W. M. Price, James 
Coleinan, captains. 

Staff Jeremiah Kertly, adjutant; B. S. Chambers, 
quartermaster; Samuel Theobalds, judge advocate; L. 
D i ckinsoii, sergeant-maj or. 

James Suggett, chaplain, and major of the spies; L. 
Sandford, quartermaster-sergeant. Afterwards was added 
Doctor Ewing, surgeon; Doctors Coburn and Richardson, 
surgeon s mates. 

From this place the regiment proceeded in a few days 
towards St. Marys, and arrived there on the 1st of June. 
This march was very much incommoded by high waters 
and bad roads. At this season of the year there are marshes 
and quagmires in every quarter of the country, which are 
extremely difficult to pass. As soon as the troops had all 
arrived, the colonel issued a general order, establishing the 
police of the camp, requiring the companies to be regularly 
mustered and drilled and appointing a day for their in 

From St. Marys Colonel Johnson went to the village of 
Wopoghconata on the Auglaize, to procure some Shawanoe 
Indians to act as guides and spies. During his absence the 
regiment was employed in training under the superintend 
ence of the lieutenant-colonel, and in making other neces 
sary arrangements for their future service. In a few days 
the colonel returned with 12 or 13 Indians, among whom 


was the celebrated Anthony Shane, a half-blood, whose 
father was a Frenchman. In his integrity and fidelity to 
onr cause, the utmost confidence was placed. He had been 
an active partisan in the war against General Wayne, but 
since the treaty of Greenville, he had become unalterably 
attached to the Americans. 

An order of march and battle was not issued, and it was 
enjoined on the officers to understand it as soon as pos 
sible, and be able to execute it correctly. It is certainly the 
duty of every general, or commandant of an independent 
corps, to give his men an order of battle as early as possible 
after taking the field, which may afterwards be followed as 
circumstances may require. The officers and men of every 
army ought to be well acquainted with the manner of form 
ing and with the duty of each corps previous to their being 
led into action. It will tend to preserve them from confu 
sion and consequent disaster. Hence, the general who fails 
entirely to give an order of battle, or who defers it until a 
few minutes before a battle, is guilty of the most criminal 
neglect. This is particularly the case in militia and other 
raw troops, where the state of discipline does not enable 
the commander w r ith facility and certitude, to throw his 
army on any emergency into the necessary form. Colonel 
Johnson seemed to be well apprised of its importance, and 
faithfully discharged his duty in this respect. 

On the 5th the regiment ma relied towards Fort Wayne, 
with a view to protect some boats loaded with flour and 
bacon, which had been sent down the St. Marys by General 
Wingate, of the Ohio militia, who was stationed with :i 
small guard at St. Marys. When the troops arrived at a 
handsome prairie about half way to Shane s crossing, they 
were halted and practiced in forming the line of battle, till 
every man was well acquainted with his place and his par- 


ticular duties. The men were also abundantly supplied 
with ammunition, and well prepared for action. 

A very heavy rain having fallen to-day, the St. Marys 
was found impassable when the regiment arrived at Shane s 
Crossing in the evening. On the next day, by felling trees 
into it from both banks, a rude bridge was constructed, 
over which the men passed with their baggage, while their 
horses were crossed by swimming. The rest of the way to 
Port Wayne was found very difficult, all the flats and 
marshes being covered with water, and the roads very miry. 
They arrived on the evening of the 7th, and found that all 
the boats had reached the fort in safety but one, which had 
struck on a bar in sight of the fort. While the boatmen 
were endeavoring to get her off, a party of Indians fired on 
and killed two of them, and the other, in attempting to 
swim over the river, was drowned. Colonel Johnson, with 
his staff and a few men, had just arrived at the fort and 
stript their horses. As soon as they could make ready, they 
mounted and crossed to the boat. The Indians fired upon 
the advance and then retreated. The spies being of opin 
ion, that the party of Indians was much stronger than that 
with the colonel, he deferred the pursuit till the regiment 
all arrived. He then took a strong detachment and pur 
sued them about ten miles, when a rainy night coming on, 
he returned to the fort. Next morning, the 8th, a council 
of officers was held, which determined, after collecting all 
the information they could from the spies, to make an ex 
cursion towards the southeast end of Lake Michigan, and 
visit the Indian villages in that direction. In the evening 
the regiment deposited their heavy baggage in the fort, 
drew ten days provisions, and crossed the St. Marys to en 
camp in the forks. The stream was now just beginning to 
rise at the fort, though on the evening of the 5th, it had 
been at the top of its banks at Shane s Crossing; but 40 


miles from its mouth by land. Hence, if we suppose the 
current to run three miles an hour, which is near the truth, 
the distance by water would be upwards of 200 miles, so 
extremely crooked is the course of the river. 

On the next day the regiment marched early on the 
trail of the Indians, which led towards the village of Five 
Medals, that had been destroyed last year, but which it was 
believed had been rebuilt. They had marched forty miles 
before night, and the colonel intended, after grazing and 
resting a while, to resume the march and attack that vil 
lage at daylight in the morning. But a heavy rain came on, 
and prevented him from executing this plan. In the morn 
ing they proceeded, and after encountering many obstacle* 
in crossing high waters and marshes, they arrived at the 
Elk-Hart River, before it had risen so as to be impassable, 
and in half an hour afterwards the village of Five Medals 
was again surrounded. But it was not occupied at present. 
Colonel Johnson now determined to visit a town called 
Paravash, on the other side of the St. Josephs of the Lake ; 
and in the morning of the llth, the line of march was re 
sumed in that direction ; but on arriving at the St. Josephs, 
it was found to be impassable, and the intention of reach 
ing that place was abandoned. The colonel then deter 
mined to advance with rapidity to the White Pigeon s 
town, at which place he arrived in the afternoon, having 
seen a few Indians on his route, who made their escape in a 
canoe over a stream which the horsemen could not pass. 
The village which had been the most considerable in that 
region of the country was also unoccupied at present. The 
main trace of the Indians, from Chicago and the Illinois 
country to Detroit, passes through this town. It appeared 
to have been but little travelled this spring. The regiment 
remained encamped near it till next day, and as Colonel 
Johnson had now fulfilled his instructions to visit this 


trace, and intercept the enemy if now making use of it ; 
and as the provisions of the troops had been much damaged 
by the rain, lie determined to return to Fort Wayne. There 
is an Indian path leading directly to that place from the 
village, on which the regiment returned, and reached the 
fort on the 14th, having performed a march of nearly 200 
miles, with heavy rains every day, and in a region never 
before traversed by so large a force of Americans. By this 
excursion, our knowledge of the country was enlarged, and 
it was ascertained that all the Indians in the British serv 
ice, who had been at the siege of Fort Meigs, were still kept 
in the vicinity of Maiden, as no considerable body of them 
had returned to their country. 

In the meantime the savages were committing many 
depredations on the Illinois and Missouri territories, where 
a skirmishing warfare was carried on, very much to the 
annoyance of the frontier settlers. It would be too tedious 
to enter on a detail of all the little transactions of this kind 
in that quarter; we shall only mention a few of the most 
prominent incidents. Much apprehension was entertained, 
that all the Indians on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers 
would be induced by the intrigues of the British and Te- 
eumseh to join in the general confederacy against us. In 
April the Mississippi Indians invested Fort Madison, 
though many of the tribes professed to be friendly. They 
did but little execution there, and soon afterwards formal 
ly besieged Fort Mason, a post which had been established 
on the Mississippi by Governor Howard, about 80 miles 
above St. Louis. Captain Boone, who commanded a com 
pany of rangers, succeeded in getting into the fort, by 
which it was rendered completely secure against their 
forces. They remained before it for 8 or 10 days, and suc 
ceeded once in setting fire to some of the cabins, which were 
burnt down, and at the same time a violent assault was 


made on the fort, which was gallantly repulsed by the gar 
rison without much loss. 

A war with the powerful Osage nation was now appre 
hended. During the winter Governor Howard had been 
absent at the City of Washington, and before his return, 
authority had been given to raise three companies of rang 
ers in his territory. This being known to the Osage In 
dians, they applied to Mr. Secretary Bates for permission 
to furnish one of the companies, which was granted; and 
on their appearance at St. Louis, they were supplied with 
arms and ammunition for the service. But when the gov 
ernor returned he disapproved of employing the Indians 
in any way, and sent them home. Anxious to engage in 
the war, they showed evident symptoms of displeasure at 
this treatment, and said they would have satisfaction of 
the Americans for it. It was hence supposed that they also 
would be induced to attack the frontiers. Port Madison 
had already been evacuated, as too remote from the settle 
ments to be maintained ; and under the apprehension of au 
attack from the Osages, the officers at Port Mason held a 
council, and determined to abandon that place also, and 
retire to Fort Howard, within 40 miles of St. Louis, which 
they effected about the 1st of May. A chain of posts was 
then established from Fort Howard across the country to 
the Missouri; and about the same time the governor re 
ceived the appointment of brigadier general in the army of 
the United States, and was succeeded in the former office 
by William Clarke esq., who had explored the country west 
ward to the Pacific Ocean with Captain Lewis. 

Early in the spring the celebrated Robert Dickson, a 
British trader and emissary, had been sent among the In 
dians on the frontiers of those territories, to excite them to 
war, and raise recruits for the service under Proctor and 
Tecumseh. He visited all the tribes on the Illinois and 



Mississippi rivers from Prairie de Chien to Green Bay, and 
in the neighborhood of Chicago, at which place a general 
rendezvous was to be held, professedly for the purpose of 
descending the Illinois River and attacking that territory. 
By making great promises of presents and plunder, he suc 
ceeded in collecting nearly one thousand warriors at Chi 
cago early in June; and after exciting considerable alarm 
in the mind of Governor Edwards, of the Illinois territory, 
he led them in separate detachments towards Detroit, along 
the main trace which passes by the White Pigeon s town. 
They passed that village but a few days after the regiment 
of Colonel Johnson had left it, by which the latter missed 
a glorious opportunity to meet the enemy and distinguish 

The followers of Dickson were a horde of as wild and 
cruel savages as ever disgraced human nature. They were 
the most worthless and abandoned desperadoes from all 
the tribes he had visited ; and were worthy to be the accom 
plices of the humane and honorable Proctor, by whom 
Dickson had been sent to collect them. Among the chiefs 
who commanded them was the great Potawatamie, Mai- 
Pock, a monster who was distinguished by a girdle, sewed 
full of human scalps, which he wore round his waist, and 
strings of bear s claws and the bills of owls and hawks 
round his ankles as the trophies of his prowess in arms, 
and as a terror to his enemies. It is remarkable that after 
these savages joined the British standard, to combat for 

"defender of the faith," 

victory never again declared for the allies in the north 
west. For the cruelties they had already committed, and 
those which were threatened by this inhuman association, 
a just God frowned indignant on all their subsequent 


It is a fact, that in July and August, the British, by 
their unparalleled exertions, had collected nearly all the 
warriors of the north and northwest into the neighborhood 
of Maiden, where they were regularly supplied with rations 
by their employers. Their camps extended from Browns- 
town to Detroit, besides a number on the east side of the 
strait. As they neither hunted nor labored for their sub 
sistence, their support was a heavy burden on the British 
contractors and commissaries. The number of warriors 
was about 2,500 but including the subsistence of the 
women and children, they had brought with them the 
amount of rations issued exceeded seven thousand. As the 
British expected an attack from the American army, and 
as this assemblage of savages constituted their main force, 
it was necessary to keep them well supplied with the means 
of subsistence and the munitions of Avar. Dickson, who had 
been so instrumental in collecting this horde of barbarians, 
was a Scotchman by birth, and certainly proved his loyalty, 
and deserved well of his employers, by his great zeal, in 
dustry and address in this service. 

After the return of the mounted regiment to Fort 
Wayne, they remained there a few days and then proceeded 
down the river with an escort of provisions to Fort Win 
chester. A sufficient number of men were put in the boats 
containing the provisions to man them well, and the bal 
ance of the men proceeded down the road opened by Win 
chester on the north side of the Miami, encamping every 
night with the boats. After they had arrived at Fort Win 
chester, Colonel Johnson received a dispatch from General 
Harrison, recommending him to make an attack on the ene 
my at Raisin and Brownstown. Although the general only 
recommended this movement, yet it was done in such a way 
that Colonel Johnson as a gallant soldier felt himself 
bound to execute it. General Harrison had just heard of 


the success of our arms against the enemy below, and that 
General Proctor was ordered in that direction to assist in 
repelling the invaders. Believing that Proctor had left 
Maiden with a considerable portion of his force, the general 
supposed that an excellent opportunity had offered, to at 
tack his savage allies in the Michigan territory, by a coup 
de main with the mounted regiment. Colonel Johnson, 
however, was unable to execute this plan immediately. His 
horses were so exhausted by their late expedition, that 
some rest was necessary before they could perform another 
march so difficult as that to Brownstown. A considerable 
detachment of his men were also engaged in escorting pro 
visions from St. Marys, and could not be collected for this 
service immediately. A strong reinforcement was also 
daily expected from Kentucky, the expedition was there 
fore deferred for a few days. 

The service recommended by the general was considered 
extremely hazardous. For a mounted regiment about TOO 
strong, with worn-down horses destitute of forage, to 
march at least 100 miles through swamps and marshes, and 
over difficult rivers, with guides not very well acquainted 
with the country, to attack a body of Indians Avlio could in 
a few hours raise more than double the force of the regi 
ment, would have been a bold and perilous enterprise, and 
might have ended in their total discomfiture. For had they 
succeeded in battle, it is very doubtful whether they could 
have made good their retreat encumbered with wounded 
and obstructed by swamps, while a strong force of the ene 
my could have pursued and been ready at every advantage 
ous place to attack them. Colonel Johnson, however, re 
solved to attempt it, as soon as his troops could be put into 
a condition, which promised vigorous exertions. 

But fortunately for the regiment, on the next day an 
express arrived from General Clay, commanding at Fort 


Meigs, with information that the British and Indians 
threatened to invest that place again, and with a request 
that Colonel Johnson would march his regiment there im 
mediately for its relief. Orders to march were given with 
out delay ; and such was the zeal and promptitude of both 
officers and men, that in half an hour they were all ready to 
march, and commenced crossing the Miami opposite the 
fort. The provision boats were manned, and those who 
were unfit for duty, or had horses unfit to travel, were left 
with the garrison. That night they proceeded no farther 
after crossing the river, than Winchester s old camps, but 
in the morning they advanced in order and celerity, and 
arrived at the head of the Rapids at five in the evening, 
where Colonel Johnson was met by another express from 
General Clay, advising him to be very cautious in his ad 
vance to the fort. The heads of the columns were then 
drawn up in close order, and tire colonel in a short and im 
pressive address, instructed them in their duties. If an 
enemy were discovered, the order of march was to be in two 
lines, one parallel to the river, and the other in front, 
stretching across from the head of the former to the river 
on the right. He concluded with saying : 

"We must fight our way through any opposing force, 
let what will be the consequences, as no retreat could be 
justifiable. It is no time to flinch we must reach the fort 
or die in the attempt/ 

Every countenance, responsive to the sentiments of the 
speaker, indicated the same desperate determination. The 
ground on which the enemy had gained their barbarous tri 
umph over Dudley, was again to be traversed ; and the al 
lies would doubtless hope to realize another 5th of May, in 
another contest with Kentucky militia. The march was 
again resumed, and the regiment arrived at ten o clock in 
the night opposite Fort Meigs without molestation, and en- 


camped in the open plain between the river and the hill on 
which the British batteries had been erected. The boats 
were left at the head of the Rapids, as it was deemed haz 
ardous in the present state of the water to bring them down 
in the night. 

At daylight, when the morning gun fired, the horses of 
the regiment were frightened, and ran through the camp, 
running over several of the men and hurting them badly. 
They proceeded down the river a considerable distance, and 
with much trouble and risk to the men, were caught and 
brought back. About 10 o clock the regiment crossed to the 
fort, and encamped above it in a handsome plain clothed 
with blue grass. General Clay, who commanded in the 
fort, was very cautious and vigilant, and daily sent spies 
down the river to reconnoitre and watch for the enemy. 

Since lie had been in command, he had repaired all the 
injuries, which the fort had sustained during the siege, and 
had cleared off the timber to a greater distance from it, 
burning that which Avas lying down, and erasing the works 
where the British batteries had stood. He had also assisted 
in bringing down a considerable portion of the provisions 
from the posts on the Anglaizc and St. Marys. His troops 
at the same time had suffered excessively by sickness. Dur 
ing the month of June and a part of July, a most fatal epi 
demic prevailed in the camp, which carried off from three 
to five, and sometimes as many as ten in a day. It was 
computed that nearly 200 fell a sacrific to it, within the 
space of six weeks, which was a dreadful mortality for the 
number of men in the garrison. The disease had been 
caused in the commencement, most probably by the expos 
ure of the men during the siege ; but the bad water which 
they had to use, and the flat, marshy, putrescent condition 
of all that region of country, was well calculated to destroy 


ail army of men, who were alike unused to such a climate 
and to the life of a soldier. 

The apprehension of an attack at this time, was caused 
by information which General Clay had received from a 
Frenchman and a private of Colonel Dudley s regiment, 
who came to Fort Meigs on the 20th of June from Detroit. 
The latter had been a prisoner with the Indians. They 
stated that the allies had determined to renew the attack 
on the fort, and were to march about the time they had ar 
rived. From the circumstantial information which they 
possessed, no doubt, was left on the minds of the officers in 
the garrison, but that an attack was in preparation. The 
force of the Indians was estimated at near four thousand 
and reinforcements of regulars from the Niagara were ex 
pected to the amount of one thousand. The Canadian mili 
tia had been disbanded as unfit for the service. When this 
information was received, it was immediately communicat 
ed by an express to General Harrison, and duplicates of 
the dispatch were sent to the governors of Ohio and Ken 

General Harrison was at Franklinton when the intelli 
gence reached him. He determined to set out the next morn 
ing for Lower Sandusky, and immediately addressed a let 
ter to the war department and another to Governor Meigs 
on this subject, in which he stated that he did not believe 
Fort Meigs to be the object of the attack, but that it would 
be Lower Sandusky, Cleveland, or Erie. The 24th regi 
ment, United States infantry, under the command of Col 
onel Anderson was now at Upper Sandusky, and was or 
dered to proceed immediately to Lower Sandusky. Major 
Croghan, with a part of the 17th, was ordered to the same 
place, and also Colonel Ball with his squadron of cavalry, 
who had been stationed at Franklinton. 


Immediately before General Harrison was called to the 
outposts by the impending attack, he held a council at 
Franklinton, with the chiefs of the friendly Indians, con 
sisting of the Delaware, Shawanoe, Wyandot, and Seneca 
tribes. He informed them that circumstances had come to 
his knowledge, which induced him to suspect the fidelity of 
some of the tribes, who seemed disposed to join the enemy 
in case they succeeded in capturing Fort Meigs that a 
crisis had arrived, which required all the tribes who re 
mained neutral, and who were willing to engage in the war, 
to take a decided stand either for us or against us that the 
President wanted no false friends that the proposal of 
General Proctor to exchange the Kentucky militia for the 
tribes in our friendship, indicated that lie had received some 
hint of their willingness to take up the tomahawk against 
us and that to give the United States a proof of their good 
disposition, they must either remove with their families in 
to the interior, or the warriors must accompany him in the 
ensuing campaign and fight for the United States. To the 
latter condition the chiefs and warriors unanimously 
agreed ; and said they had long been anxious for an invita 
tion to fight for the Americans. Tahe, the oldest Indian in 
the western country, who represented all the tribes, pro 
fessed in their names the most indissoluble friendship for 
the United States. General Harrison then told them he 
would let them know Avhen they would be wanted in the 

"but you must conform to our mode of warfare. You 
are not to kill defenceless prisoners, old men, women, or 

He added that by their conduct he would be able to tell, 
whether the British could restrain their Indians from such 
horrible cruelty. For if the Indians fighting with him 
would forbear such conduct, it would prove that the Brit- 


ish could also restrain theirs if they wished to do it. He 
humorously told them he had beeu informed that General 
Proctor had promised to deliver him into the hands of Te- 
cuinseli, if he succeeded against Fort Meigs, to be treated 
as that warrior might think proper. 

"Now, if I can succeed in taking Proctor, you shall have 
him for your prisoner, provided you will agree to treat him 
as a squaw, and only put petticoats upon him ; for he must 
be a coward who would kill a defenceless prisoner." 

The government of the United States at last reluctantly 
agreed to employ Indians in their army, against the savages 
employed by the British. The thing was perfectly justifi 
able, as a measure of self-defence ; yet there is only one rea 
son which reconciles me to it. We thus demonstrated that 
the North American savage is not such a cruel and feroci- 
ious being, that he cannot be restrained by civilized man 
within the bounds of civilized warfare. In several in 
stances, subsequent to the present period, strong corps of 
Indians fought under the American standard, and were 
uniformly distinguished by their orderly and humane con 
duct. Had the Indians been employed by the British on 
the condition that they must conform to the rules of civil 
ized warfare, no instance of savage cruelty in this war 
would now be recorded against them, in the page of history, 
and in the celestial register of human crimes ; but they em 
ployed the savages on a different principle and I repeat 
that if the British officers in Upper Canada did not directly 
instigate, they at least very willingly permitted the savages 
to massacre the prisoners, who had surrendered, not to the 
savages, but to themselves after receiving a solemn promise 
of protection. 

On the evening of the 26th, General Harrison overtook 
the 24th regiment on its way to Lower Sandusky, and im 
mediately selected all the men who were able to make a 


forced march. They amounted to 300, and were pushed 
forward for Fort Meigs under the command of Colonel 
Anderson. The general arrived at the fort on the evening 
of the 28th, and in a few hours afterwards the detachment 
under Anderson also made. its appearance. As no farther 
information had been received, respecting the designs of 
the enemy, General Harrison ordered a detachment of 
Johnson s regiment to proceed the next day to the river 
Raisin to procure intelligence. Colonel Johnson took com 
mand of the detachment himself, and was accompanied also 
by the lieutenant-colonel, the whole being 150 strong. They 
left the fort about 11 o clock, and although the high water 
obliged them to go considerably out of their way to get 
over some of the creeks, they reached French tOAvn that 
night after 12 o clock, and searched the whole town in 
hopes of taking a prisoner, but uoue of the enemy could be 
found. All the inhabited houses were visited by the col 
onel, and inquiry made respecting the enemy. The intelli 
gent part of the citizens all agreed in stating that they had 
heard of no reinforcement of regulars arriving at Maiden, 
nor any considerable number of Indians since the siege of 
Fort Meigs that the Indians had pressed General Proctor 
to make another attack, and were much dissatisfied at his 
putting it off that the success of our arms below had been 
kept from their knowledge some time, but were at last 
divulged to them by a trader, for which he was seized by 
Proctor, but afterwards released at the demand of the In 
dians that they held councils, the proceedings of which 
were kept secret from the British and that 100 Avar dors 
of the Ottawa tribe had passed the river Raisin in boats to 
take scalps in the Aicinity of Lower Sandusky. 

Colonel Johnson on the next day returned to Fort 
Meigs, taking with him tAvo Frenchmen, one of them a citi 
zen of Michigan, and the other a British subject. He ha.l 


learned that about 20 Indians had proceeded toward** Fort 
Meigs with a view to steal the horses of the army ; and on 
his return he struck their trail and pursued them. But in 
a few miles he found that they had altered their minds and 
changed their course, having probably got intelligence of 
his excursion. On his arrival at the fort his regiment was 
reinforced by 100 men, brought by lieutenants Card well, 
White, Branham, and Lapsley from Kentucky. 

General Harrison now deemed it unnecessary for him to 
remain any longer at Fort Meigs, and on the 1st of July 
proceeded to LoAver Sandusky with an escort of TO mounted 
men commanded by Captain M Afee, at which place they 
arrived by dark, although the road was a continued and 
deep swamp. General Harrison expected with this escort 
and Colonel Ball s squadron, to be ready to oppose the 
party of Indians, of whose expedition Colonel Johnson had 
brought intelligence; but on the morning of that day they 
had been in the vicinity of the fort and had killed at a farm 
house 3 men, a woman, and two children, and then made 
their escape in view of the garrison. Colonel Ball had not 
yet arrived, and there was, of course, no troops at the place, 
who could move with sufficient speed to intercept them, 
nor was the whole number there sufficient to make the at 
tempt. Colonel Wells commanded, and the garrison con 
sisted of 140 Ohio volunteers, whose term of service having 
expired, they were anxious to go home. General Harrison, 
however, prevailed upon them to remain some time longer. 

On the evening of the 2nd, Colonel Ball s squadron ar 
rived at Lower Sandusky, and on the next day proceeded 
with General Harrison to Cleveland. The object of the 
general in going to that place, was to make arrangements 
for the better security of the provisions, and of the boats 
which were constructing at that post. They were now 
guarded by a few regulars, and a small but excellent com- 


pany of militia called the Chillicothe guards. General 
Harrison caused a small fort to be erected on the bank of 
the lake, drew a company of artillery, and another of 12 
months infantry from the interior, directed the boats to 
be sunk in a deep part of the Cayago river as fast as they 
were finished, and had the magazine of provisions, which 
was at some distance from the town, prepared for confla 
gration, should the enemy land with a force, which our 
troops could not meet in the field. When the general after 
wards left the place, Colonel Ball remained there in com 

The mounted regiment had been ordered to proceed by 
Lower Sandusky to the river Huron, where it was intended 
tli at they should remain a while to recruit their horses. 
They marched on the 2nd from Fort Meigs, but did not ar 
rive at Sandusky until the evening of the 3rd. The Fourth 
of July, the anniversary of independence, was celebrated 
by the garrison and mounted men together, in great har 
mony and enthusiasm. Colonel Johnson delivered an ap 
propriate address and a number of toasts, breathing senti 
ments of the republican soldier, w r ere than drank, and 
cheered by the shouts of the men, the firing of small arms, 
and the discharge of a six-pounder from the fort. The mili 
tia soldier, whose patriotism was satisfied with going to the 
boundary line and looking at the enemy, while he refused 
to cross and fight them, was strongly reprobated in one of 
their toasts. 

Considerable exertions were now making to finish the 
works of Fort Stephenson, which had been planned and 
commenced in April by Major Wood. They were soon 
afterwards completed, so as to contain a larger garrison 
and make a more formidable resistance. On the 6th, Col 
onel Johnson s regiment proceeded in detachments to 
Huron, and encamped on the shore of the lake, where they 


were supplied with forage by boats from Cleveland on the 
next day; and on the 8th, Lieutenant-Colonel J. Johnson 
returned in the boats with a party of 50 men to procure 
more forage. On the morning of the 9th a dispatch was re 
ceived from General Harrison, which the colonel immedi 
ately answered, sending Captain Payne for that purpose in 
a barge with a few men, though the lake was at that time 
extremely rough. The object of these expresses not being 
explained at the time, considerable curiosity and uneasi 
ness were excited among the men, by the hastes and secrecy 

General Harrison had just received the following letter 
from the war department, which he enclosed to Colonel 
Johnson with orders to act accordingly. The letter had 
been delayed by being sent to Cincinnati and from thence 
following the movements of the general. 

"War Department, June 0, 1813. 

"Sir, General Howard and Governor Edwards urge the 
necessity of more troops in that quarter ; and there being 
no other disposable force for that purpose at this time, the 
President directs that you order Colonel Johnson with his 
regiment of mounted volunteers directly to Kaskaskias, to 
report to General Howard. 

"I have the honor, etc., 

"John Armstrong." 
"General Harrison." 

In reply, Colonel Johnson remonstrated against the 
order he did not insist on the wishes of his men, which, 
however, to be indulged among friends in social life, were 
not to be mentioned against a military command ; but rep 
resented his inability to comply, with any advantage to the 
country, or honor to the corps. He stated that his horses 
were in such a situation that it would require ten days to 
put them in a condition for a journey of 400 miles to Kas- 
kaskias that it would require 30 days to perform it 


through the swamps they must traverse that allowing 20 
days more, to recruit the horses after arrival, and to reach 
the frontiers, they would then have but 20 days left for 
service till their time would expire that so many of his 
men were already dismounted, he could not expect, after 
leaving Captian Payne s cavalry as directed, to reach that 
place with a reduced corps too late for the service that 
Governor Edwards was unnecessarily alarmed, his terri 
tory not being in danger, as the greater part of the Indians 
were collected at Maiden that the present position and 
circumstances of the regiment could not be known to the 
President at the time the order was given that they would 
have an opportunity of rendering important services and 
acquiring laurels by remaining in the North-western army 
and would bo rendered wholly useless by going to the west. 
On these grounds he entreated the general to detain him, 
or to leave to him the responsibility under existing circum 
stances of disobeying the order. In addition to these, many 
other considerations were pressed by Lieutenant Colonel 
Johnson, who was at headquarters. But the general re 
plied that the order from the war department was so per 
emptory, that he could not authorize the suspension of the 
march even for a day ; although he regretted extremely that 
the regiment would be separated from him in his contem 
plated movements against Upper Canada. 

The following letter from Colonel Johnson to General 
Harrison, which was written on the 4th of July, will ex 
hibit the condition, the sentiments, and views of the regi 
ment, from which the reader may imagine their feelings on 
this occasion, recollecting that the colonel was a distin 
guished partizan of the administration in Congress, and 
that his regiment included a number of prominent char 
acters in Kentucky: 


"Camp Lower Sandnsky, July 4, 1813. 

"Dear Sir I arrived at this place last evening with a 
part of the mounted regiment, after two days march from 
Camp Meigs, leaving two companies four miles in the rear, 
who were unable to reach this place ; besides about twenty 
horses left on the way, which I am in hopes will be able to 
get back to Camp Meigs or come to this place in a few days, 
where we can keep them together and recruit them. Hav 
ing been in the most active service for upwards of forty 
days, and having travelled upwards of TOO miles, much of 
it forced marching, it is natural to conclude that most of 
the horses are weak ; and we feel great pleasure and obliga 
tions to you in finding your arrangements such as to en 
able us to recruit the horses of the regiment. To be ready 
to move with you to Detroit and Canada, against the ene 
mies of our country, is the first wish of our hearts. Two 
great objects induced us to come first, to be at the regain 
ing of our own territory and Detroit, and at the taking of 
Maiden ; and secondly, to serve under an officer in whom we 
have confidence. We could not have engaged in the service 
without such a prospect, when we recollected what disaster 
has attended us for the want of good generals. W r e did 
not want to serve under cowards, drunkards, old grannies, 
nor traitors, but under one who had proved himself to be 
wise, prudent and brave. The officers of the mounted regi 
ment had some idea of addressing you on their anxiety to 
be a part of your army in the campaign against Canada, 
and of giving you a statement of the importance of having 
an opportunity to make the regiment efficient for such a 
campaign by recruiting their horses. As to the men, they 
are active, healthy and fond of service. This morning I 
have sent out 100 on foot to scour the surrounding country ; 
and wherever we are, we wish continual service. Our regi 
ment is about 900 strong when all together. I have left 100 
at Defiance to regain some lost horses, and to guard that 

"You have not witnessed the opposition I encountered 
in raising the regiment. Every personal enemy, every trai 
tor and tory, and your enemies, all combined but in vain. 
Nothing but the hurry which attended our march prevented 


me from having 1,500 men. Nothing but the importance of 
the service, which I thought we could render, would have 
justified my absence from the present catch penny Con 
gress. (The great object of the session was to raise a 
revenue.) My enemies, your enemies, the enemies of our 
cause, would exult if the mounted regiment should from 
any cause be unable to carry a strong army against the sav 
ages and British, when you strike the grand blow. 

"It is with much diffidence I write you anything touch 
ing military matters; but the desires of my soul and the 
situation of the regiment, have induced me thus freely and 
confidentially to express myself. In the morning we shall 
leave this place for Huron, ready to receive your orders, 
which will always be cheerfully executed at every hazard. 

"Your obedient servant, 

"RH : M. Johnson/ 

Little did the colonel expect, when winding up this let 
ter, that he was going to Huron to receive an order of ban 
ishment to the wilds of the west. When he did receive it 
finally, however, by the return of his express, it was "cheer 
fully executed at every hazard," and without a murmur. 
His men would "not disgrace him and themselves by any 
unsoldierly opposition to the orders of the president," how 
ever contrary to their views and wishes. The only service 
they were expected to render by this counterplot movement, 
was to aid Governor Edwards who was continually repre 
senting to the government that Dickson would certainly 
invade his territory with several thousand Indians ; when, 
in fact, Dickson had been recruiting only for General Proc 
tor, and was now at Maiden with all the Indians he could 
raise, intending to fight General Harrison as soon as Proc 
tor could make his arrangements. Both the secretary of 
war and General Harrison had constantly been of the 
opinion, that while the enemy had Maiden to protect and 
the northwestern army to destroy, they would attempt no 
considerable movement against the western territories; and 


their opinion proved to be correct. General Harrison im 
mediately informed the war department of the situation of 
Colonel Johnson s regiment, and of the great anxiety which 
they had shown to remain in the northwestern service. 

After receiving the final orders of the general on the 
13th, and having selected the route by Upper Sandnsky, 
Fort M ? Arthur, St. Marys, Greenville, Delaware towns on 
White River, Forts Harrison and Vincennes, as the most 
eligible of those recommended by the general, the troops 
marched by detachments and arrived at Upper Sandnsky 
on the 16th. Some of the companies passed by Lower San- 
dusky, at which place Major Croghan had arrived with part 
of the 17th regiment and taken command of the fort. At 
Upper Sandusky, Colonel Johnson ascertained that it was 
indispensably necessary to change his route so as to pass 
Urbana, for the purpose of procuring grain and other neces 
saries for the regiment. They proceeded again in detach 
ments and arrived at that place in a very unfavorable con 
dition on the 19th and 20th. A considerable number of 
horses had been lost already, and many of the men were 
sick with the measles and other fevers. The prospect of 
marching through the wilderness to Yincennes became 
every day more gloomy; and it was now evident, that if 
that route was pursued, but a small portion of the regiment 
could be expected to reach their destination, on account of 
sickness and the loss of horses. A meeting of the officers 
was, therefore, held, and an address drawn up and pre 
sented to the colonel, in which they solicited him to change 
their route and allow them to pass through Kentucky. 
They represented the cheerfulness and promptitude, with 
which the regiment had to this moment, executed the orders 
of the government and their commandant; and had per 
formed a march of nearly 800 miles in the whole, over roads 
of the worst description, swimming the numerous streams 



they had to cross, and generally proceeding by forced 
marches from thirty to fifty miles a day that the regiment 
was very much reduced and scattered by the loss of horses; 
and by the time it reached Kaskaskias would be rendered 
wholly inefficient, and perhaps entirely useless and that 
by going through Kentucky they would be able to raise 
more men, and remount those who had lost their horses, or 
had rendered them unfit for the expedition, and would ulti 
mately reach their destination as soon as by the more direct 
route through the wilderness, and be in a condition to 
render efficient service. In reply the colonel remarked, 

"It was not until the arrival of the regiment at this 
place, that the entire impracticability of carrying to Kas 
kaskias one-half the horses were certainly known, without 
recruiting many days, or changing the route to Kentucky. 
Under the whole view of the subject, no hesitation exists as 
to the propriety and evident necessity of granting the re 
quest of the officers." 

The regiment was, therefore, ordered to march through 
Kentucky for the above purposes, and to rendezvous at 
Vincennes on the 20th of August. To justify this step in 
violation of his positive orders, the colonel relied on its 
evident propriety ; and it proved in fact to be the salvation 
of the regiment. 

While the regiment was at Urbana, intelligence was re 
ceived that Colonel William Russell was preparing an ex 
pedition against the Indians from the Indian Territory; 
and he was at this time marching through their country 
with a strong mounted corps of rangers and volunteer 
militia. An excursion had also been previously made by 
Colonel Bartholomew, which it will be proper in this place 
to notice. In the spring, the Indians had committed many 
depredations on the frontiers of Indiana, in the way of 


murdering the inhabitants and stealing their horses and 
cattle. The Delawares were strongly suspected of either 
secretly aiding in the mischief, or of committing it them 
selves. Colonel Bartholomew of that territory hence de 
termined to visit their towns on White river with a military 
force, and if any proofs of their hostility could be discov 
ered, to retaliate and chastise them effectually for it. , -He 
accordingly assembled three companies of mounted men at 
Valonia, commanded by Captains Peyton, Biggers and 
Dunn, and amounting to 140 men. Having selected 
Majors Tipton and Owen for his aides, he proceeded up the 
country till he had reached the upper Delaware towns, 
which he found uninhabited; and returning by the lower 
towns he found them in the same condition. Some Indian 
sign was discovered, but only one Indian was seen during 
the whole excursion. Those who had not gone to reside 
in the interior of the State of Ohio, had left the villages 
where they formerly resided for some other region. 

Soon after this excursion, Colonel Russell, of the United 
States Army, who commanded the rangers of Indiana, 
which had been raised under the act of Congress, authoriz 
ing ten additional companies for the protection of the west 
ern territories, projected another expedition to penetrate 
as far as the Mississiniway villages. He requested Joseph 
Allen, Esq., of Kentucky, to raise a company and join him 
at Valonia early in July; and also invited Major General 
Thomas, and Brigadier-General Cox, of the Kentucky 
militia, to join in the expedition. They repaired accord 
ingly to that place, which is about fifty miles from Louis 
ville, near White river, and carried about 100 volunteers 
to the standard of Colonel Russell, whose whole force then 
amounted to 500 men. The colonel determined to march 
this force in five lines with an officer having the rank of 
major at the head of each line. General Thomas and Cox, 


Colonels Evans and Wilson, and Major Zach. Taylor, were 
assigned to these posts; and the corps then proceeded 
directly to the Delaware towns which were found still un 
occupied. He then marched to Mississiniway, intending 
if possible, to surprise any Indians who might be found in 
the villages on that river. In five days he reached the main 
village at the mouth of that river, which he found vacant ; 
and from every appearance, it was supposed the Indians 
had been gone about two months. There were nearly two 
hundred houses in this village, which extended about a mile 
in length; and two miles farther up the river, there were* 
the remains of a large encampment, and a block house with 
several port holes large enough for a six pounder. This 
had been erected by Tecumseh in the preceding autumn 
with a view to resist the progress of General Hopkins, and 
had been a place of general rendezvous for the concentra 
tion of his forces. The encampment had apparently been 
large enough to contain one thousand Indians. It was now 
abundantly evident, that all the Indians of the Wabash 
were gone to Maiden to serve under the banners of General 
Proctor. Colonel Russell, therefore, proceeded down the 
Wabash by Tippecanoe to Fort Harrison, having taken a 
circuit of more than 400 miles through the Indian country, 
without having seen an Indian or lost a man. 



Very early in July the Indians had begun again to in 
fest the vicinity of Fort Meigs. A small party of fourteen 
footmen were permitted by Captain Craig to return home 
from that place by the way of Fort Winchester. They had 
proceeded but a few miles up the river, before they were 
attacked by a party of Indians, and totally de 
feated, but two of them being able to make their 
escape. A party of eighteen horsemen commanded 
by Lieutenant Craig, were going up the river to 
guard down some flour which had been left in the 
Rapids, and were but two or three hundred yards from the 
former party when the attack was made upon them. Ad 
vancing towards the place of attack, they met one of the 
footmen who had escaped, and at the same time were fired 
on by three Indians, who were ambuscading the road to 
intercept the retreat of the footmen. Lieutenant Craig 
immediately ordered a retreat, and was obeyed by all but 
three of his men, who pursued the little party of Indians 
one of whom, Mr. Wiant, having wounded an Indian, dis 
mounted, pursued him 200 yards, killed him, and returned 
in safety with his scalp and his gun. On their return to 
the fort, Colonel Oaines was detached with a party of reg 
ulars to reconnoitre the ground. Before his arrival the 
Indians had dispersed, and made their escape in different 
directions, and only one of our men was found dead at the 
1>1 ace of the encounter. Lieutenant Craig was arrested for 




his conduct in this affair, and was sentenced by a court- 
martial to be cashiered. Wiant was promoted by General 
Clay to the rank of ensign, and was presented with the best 
sword in the depot of that place. 

This occurrence inspired the garrison Avith more caution 
in their excursions; but it was now generally believed that 
the enemy had abandoned their intention of attacking the 
fort. The storm, however, had not passed by; it was only 
restrained with a view to accumulate more force, and burst 
upon us with more suddenness and effect. The Indians 
of the northwest, who had been urging General Proctor to 
renew the siege, became still more importunate on the 
arrival of Dickson with his wild savages from the west; 
and the expedition was now delayed only in consequence 
of the prisoner and Frenchman having escaped with the 
intelligence of their intention to execute it immediately. 

General Clay, however, Avas very vigilant, and daily 
sent scouts down the river to watch for the enemy. This 
service fell chiefly on the company of Captain Craig, of 
Johnson s regiment, who had been left at the fort by the 
orders of General Harrison, with 140 men and about ninety 
horses. The captain being of opinion, that this service 
w r as too much to be performed by his men alone, remon 
strated against it, but without effect, and finally deter 
mined to leave the fort and follow his regiment. This 
caused the general to arrest him, and ultimately he re 

On the 20th of July, a party was sent down towards the 
lake by laud, and another in boats which proceeded out a 
few miles on the lake, but all returned without making any 
discovery, excepting hearing the firing of cannon towards 
Maiden. On the same evening, however, Lieutenant Peters, 
conductor of artillery, who was returning with a few men 
from Lower Handiisky, was pursued by a party of Indians; 


and late in the evening the boys of the British army could 
be distinctly seen down the river. Early next morning a 
picket guard, consisting of a corporal and ten men, was 
sent to a point about 300 yards below the fort, where it was 
soon surprised by the Indians, and seven of them killed and 
captured. A large army of British and Indians were now 
seen encamped below the old British Fort Miami on the 
north side of the river; and soon afterwards the Indians 
had possessed themselves of the wood in the rear of the fort. 
They carried off some horses and oxen, and through the day 
occasionally fired into the fort, but entirely without effect, 
as they were frequently warned by our grape and cannister 
to keep at a respectful distance. 

In the night Captain M Cune was sent express to Gen 
eral Harrison to apprise him of the siege ; and the men in 
the fort were diligently employed in making the necessary 
arrangements. As it was expected, that the British would 
erect batteries during the night, and commenced a cannon 
ade next day, great exertions were made to throw up new 
traverses, to deepen the trenches, and to cover the maga 
zines. The men who were permitted to rest, were required 
to sleep on their arms. General Clay and his staff were 
incessant in their attentions going on in the camp. After 
midnight Lieutenant Montjoy came into the fort from 
Portage blockhouse, with a party of twenty regulars, hav 
ing made an extraordinary escape in penetrating through 
a large body of Indians with the loss of but one man. 

On the 23rd a large body of mounted Indians, supposed 
to be 800 strong, were seen passing up the river under the 
command of Tecumseh, with the intention, it was supposed, 
of attacking Fort Winchester. On the evening of the next 
day, as everything still remained quiet round the fort, Col 
onel Gaines went out as far as the edge of the woods with 
200 men, and made .the circuit of the fort, with a view to 


ascertain whether any batteries had yet been commenced 
by the enemy. A stronger detachment was sent over from 
the British camp to attack him, but it did not arrive in time 
to intercept his return to the fort. On the 25th, the enemy 
removed their camp over the river to the south side, and 
encamped behind a point of woods, which partly concealed 
them from the garrison. This movement connected with 
their other conduct, induced a belief in the fort, that they 
would make an attempt to carry it by storm; but the 
project they had in view was not of such a desperate char 
acter. Care was still taken by General Clay to keep the 
Commander-in-chief well informed of occurrences at the 

General Harrison had returned from Cleveland to 
Lower Sandusky several days before the arrival of the 
enemy, and received at that place from the express, the in 
formation that Camp Meigs was again invested. He then 
immediately removed his headquarters to Seneca town, 
about nine miles up the Sandusky river, where he con 
structed a fortified camp, having left Major Croghan with 
160 regulars in Fort Stephenson, and taken with Mm to 
Seneca about 140 more, under the immediate command of 
Colonel Wells. A few days afterwards he was reinforced 
by the arrival of 300 regulars under Colonel Paul, and 
Colonel BalFs corps of 150 dragoons, which made his whole 
force at that place upwards of 600 strong. He was soon 
joined also by Generals M Arthur and Cass, and Colonel 
Owings with a regiment of 500 regulars from Kentucky, 
was also advancing to the frontiers ; but he did not arrive 
at headquarters before the siege of Fort Meigs had been 
abandoned by the enemy. From the position at Seneca, 
the general would be able to fall back for the protection of 
his principal depot at Upper Sandusky, should the enemy 
endeavor to turn his left flank and attack that place; or he 


would be able, should the safety of Fort Meigs require it, 
to proceed there undiscovered on a secret route, aud cut 
his way into the fort with a reinforcement; or as soon as 
his force be competent to cope with that of the enemy in the 
field, he would be favorably situated to make a descent 
upon them and raise the siege. Fort Meigs and Upper 
Sandusky were the objects to be defended Lower San- 
dusky Avas comparatively nothing. 

It was the opinion of General Harrison that the move 
ment of the Indians towards Fort Winchester, was intended 
as a feint to draw his attention in that direction, while an 
attack would be made on Lower Sandusky or Cleveland. 
The former had been pronounced untenable, and as it con 
tained nothing valuable except 200 barrels of flour, and 
was in no respect an important post, arrangements had 
been made to evacuate and destroy the fort, in case the 
British should approach it in force from the lake. Much 
industry was used to reconnoitre the route to Upper San- 
dusky, as well as to watch the lake for the approach of the 
enemy to Lower Sandusky or Cleveland. The express 
from Fort Meigs was sent back with information, that the 
general had not a sufficient force with him to justify his 
advancing immediately to that place; that he would col 
lect his troops at Seneca, and be ready as soon as possible 
to relieve the garrison ; that the governor of Ohio would be 
advised of the situation of our affairs, and if the enemy per 
severed in his attempt, a sufficient force would be collected 
in a short time, to overpower and destroy him at once. The 
express arrived at the fort with this intelligence on the 
morning of the 26th, and on the evening of that day, a heavy 
fire commenced on the Saudusky road, about the distance 
of a mile from the fort, The discharge of rifles and mus- 
quetry, accompanied by the Indian yell, could be clearly 
distinguished ; and by degrees the apparent contest ap- 


preached towards the fort, though sometimes it appeared 
to recede. It lasted about an hour, and came in the end 
near the edge of the woods. The general pronounced it a 
sham battle, intended to draw out the garrison to relieve a 
supposed reinforcement, A few discharges of cannon at 
the fort, and a heavy shower of rain, at length put an end 
to the scheme, no doubt to the great mortification of its 
projectors. The express from General Harrison had provi 
dentially arrived in time, to preserve the garrison from the 
possibility of being deluded by this artifice of the enemy. 
On the next day the British moved over to their old encamp 
ment, and on the 28th embarked in their vessels and aban 
doned the siege. The force which Proctor and Tecumseh 
brought against us in this instance, has since been ascer 
tained to have been about 5000 strong. A greater number 
of Indians were collected by them for this expedition, than 
ever was assembled in one body on any other occasion dur 
ing the whole war. 

Having raised the siege of Camp Meigs, the British 
sailed round into Sandusky bay, whilst a competent number 
of their savage allies inarched across through the swamps 
of Portage river, to co-operate in a combined attack on 
Lower Sandusky, expecting no doubt that General Harri 
son s attention would be chiefly directed to Forts Win 
chester and Meigs. The general, however, had calculated 
on their taking this course, and had been careful to keep 
patrols down the bay, opposite the mouth of Portage, 
where he supposed their forces would debark. 

Several days before the British had invested Fort 
Meigs, General Harrison with Major Croghan and some 
other officers, had examined the heights which surround 
Fort Stephenson; and as the hill on the opposite or south 
east side of the river, was found to be the most commanding 
eminence, the general had some thoughts of removing the 


fort to that place, and Major Croglian declared his readi 
ness to undertake the work. But the general did not 
authorize him to do it, as he believed that if the enemy in 
tended to invade our territory again, they would do it be 
fore the removal could be completed. It was then finally 
concluded, that the fort which was calculated for a garri 
son of only two hundred men, could not be defended against 
the heavy artillery of the enemy; and that if the British 
should approach it by water, which would cause a pre 
sumption that they had brought their heavy artillery, the 
fort must be abandoned and burned, provided a retreat 
could be effected with safety. In the orders left with 
Major Croghan it was stated : 

"Should the British troops approach you in force with 
cannon, and you can discover them in time to effect a re 
treat, you will do so immediately, destroying all the public 

"You must be aware, that the attempt to retreat in face 
of an Indian force would be vain. Against such an enemy 
your garrison would be safe, however great the number." 

On the evening of the 29th General Harrison received 
intelligence by express from General Clay, that the enemy 
had abandoned the siege of Fort Meigs ; and as the Indians 
on that day had swarmed in the woods round his camp, he 
entertained no doubt but that an immediate attack was 
intended either on Sandusky or Seneca. He, therefore, 
immediately called a council of Avar, consisting of M Ar 
thur, Cass, Ball, Paul, Wood, Hukill, Holmes, and Graham, 
who were unanimously of the opinion that Fort Stephen- 
son was untenable against heavy artillery and that, as the 
enemy could bring with facility any quantity of battering 
cannon against it, by which it must inevitably fall, and as 
it was an unimportant post, containing nothing the loss of 
which would be felt bv us, that the garrison should, thevc- 


fore, not be reinforced but withdrawn and the place de 
stroyed. In pursuance of this decision the general immed 
iately dispatched the following order to Major Croghau : 

"Sir Immediately on receiving this letter, you will 
abandon Fort Stephenson, set fire to it, and repair with 
your command this night to headquarters. Cross the river 
and come up on the opposite side. If you should deem 
and find it impracticable to make good your march to this 
place, take the road to Huron and pursue it with the utmost 
circumspection and dispatch/ 

This order was sent by Mr. Connor and two Indians, 
who lost their way in the dark, and did not arrive at Fort 
Stephenson before 11 o clock the next day. When Major 
Croghan received it, he was of opinion that lie could not 
then retreat with safety, as the Indians were hovering 
round the fort in considerable force. He called a council 
of his officers, a majority of w^hom coincided with him in 
opinion, that a retreat would be unsafe, and that the post 
could be maintained against the enemy, at least till further 
instructions could be received from headquarters. The 
major, therefore, immediately returned the following 
answer : 

"Sir I have just received yours of yesterday, 10 o clock, 
P. M., ordering me to destroy this place and make good my 
retreat, which was received too late to be carried into exe 
cution. We have determined to maintain this place, and 
by heavens we can." 

In writing this note, Major Croghau had a view to tin 1 
probability of its falling into the hands of the enemy, and 
on that account made use of stronger language than would 
otherwise have been consistent with propriety. It reached 
the general on the same day, who did not fully understand 
the circumstances and motives under which it had been 
dictated. The following order was, therefore, immediately 


prepared, and sent with Colonel Wells in the morning, es 
corted by Colonel Ball with his corps of dragoons. 

"July 30th, 1813. 

"Sir The general has just received your letter of this 
date, informing him that you had thought proper to dis 
obey the order issued from this office, and delivered to you 
this morning. It appears that the information which dic 
tated the order was incorrect; and as you did not receive 
it in the night as was expected, it might have been proper 
that you should have reported the circumstance and your 
situation, before you proceeded to its execution. This 
might have been passed over, but I am directed to say to 
you, that an officer presumes to aver, that he has made his 
resolution, and that he will act in direct opposition to the 
orders of his general, can no longer be entrusted with a 
separate command. Colonel W 7 ells is sent to relieve you. 
You will deliver the command to him, and repair with 
Colonel Ball s squadron to this place. By command, etc. 
"A. EL Holmes, Asst. Adjt. Gen." 

The squadron of dragoons on this trip met with a party 
of Indians near Lower Sandusky and killed eleven out of 
twelve. The Indians had formed an ambush and fired on 
the advanced guard consisting of a sergeant and five 
privates. Upon seeing the squadron approach they lied, 
but were pursued and soon overtaken by the front squad 
of Captain Hopkins 1 troops. The greater part of them 
were cut down by Colonel Ball and Captain Hopkins with 
his subalterns, whose horses being the fleetest overtook 
them first. The loss on our part was two privates wounded 
and two horses killed. 

Colonel Wells being left in the command of Fort 
Stephenson, Major Croghan returned with the squadron to 
headquarters. He there explained his motives for writing 
such a note, which were deemed satisfactory, and having 
remained all night with the general who treated him polite 
ly, he was permitted to return to his command in the morn- 


ing, with written orders similar to those lie had received 

A reconnoitering party which had been sent from head 
quarters to the shore of the lake, about twenty miles dis 
tant from Fort Stephenson, discovered the approach of the 
enemy by water on the evening of the 31st of July. They 
returned by the fort, after 12 o clock the next day, and 
passed it but a few hours, when the enemy made their ap 
pearance before it. The Indians showed themselves first 
on the hill over the river, and were saluted by a six-pounder, 
the only piece of artillery in the fort, which soon caused 
them to retire. In half an hour the British gunboats came 
in sight, and the Indian forces displaced themselves in ev 
ery direction, with a view to intercept the garrison should 
a retreat be attempted. The 6-pounder was fired a few 
times at the gunboats, which was returned by the artillery 
of the enemy. A landing of their troops with a 5J-inch 
howitzer, was effected about a mile below the fort; and 
Major Chambers, accompanied by Dickson, was dispatched 
towards the fort with a flag, and was met on the part of 
Major Croghan by Ensign Shipp of the 17th regiment. 
After the usual ceremonies, Major Chambers observed to 
Ensign Shipp, that he was instructed by General Proctor, 
to demand the surrender of the fort, as he was anxious to 
spare the effusion of human blood, which he could not do, 
should he be under the necessity of reducing it, by the 
powerful force of artillery, regulars, and Indians under his 
command. Shipp replied that the commandant of the fort 
and its garrison were determined to defend it to the last 
extremity ; that no force, however great, could induce them 
to surrender, as they were resolved to maintain their post, 
or to bury themselves in its ruins. Dickson then said, that 
their immense body of Indians could not be restrained from 
massacring the whole garrison in case of success of which 


we have no doubt, rejoined Chambers, as we are amply pre 
pared. Dickson then proceeded to remark, that it was a 
great pity so fine a young man should fall into the hands 
of the savages sir, for God s sake surrender, and prevent 
the dreadful massacre that will be caused by your resist 
ance. Mr. Shipp replied, that when the fort was taken 
there would be none to massacre. It will not be given up, 
while a man is able to resist. An Indian at this moment 
came out of the adjoining ravine, and advancing to the 
ensign, took hold of his sword and attempted to wrest it 
from him, Dickson interfered, and having restrained the 
Indian, effected great anxiety to get him safe into the fort. 

The enemy now opened their fire from their 6-pounders 
in the gunboats and the howitzer on shore, which they con 
tinued through the night with but little intermission, and 
with very little effect. The forces of the enemy consisted 
of 500 regulars, and about 800 Indians commanded by 
Dickson, the whole being commanded by General Proctor 
in person. Tecumseh was stationed on the road to Fort 
Meigs with a body of 2,000 Indians, expecting to intercept 
a reinforcement on that route. 

Major Croghan through the evening occasionally fired 
his 6-pounder, at the same time changing its place occas 
ionally to induce a belief that he had more than one piece. 
As it produced very little execution on the enemy, and he 
was desirous of saving his ammunition, he soon discontin 
ued his fire. The enemy had directed their fire against the 
northwestern angle of the fort, which induced the com 
mandant to believe that an attempt to storm his works 
would be made at that point. In the night Captain Hun 
ter was directed to remove the 6-pound er to a blockhouse 
from which it would rake that angle. By great industry 
and personal exertion Captain Hunter soon accomplished 
this object in secrecy. The embrasure was masked, and 


the piece loaded with a half charge of powder, and double 
charge of slugs and grapeshot. 

Early in the morning of the 2nd, the enemy opened their 
fire from their howitzer and three 6-pounders, which they 
had landed in the night, and planted in a point of woods 
about 250 yards from the fort, In the evening, about 4 
o clock, they concentrated the fire of all their guns on the 
northwest angle, which convinced Major Croghan that they 
would endeavor to make a breach and storm the works at 
that point; he, therefore, immediately had that place 
strengthened as much as possible with bags of Hour and 
sand, which w r ere so effectual, that the picketing in that 
place sustained no material injury. Sergeant Weaver with 
five or six gentlemen of the Petersburg volunteers and Pitts 
burgh blues, who happened to be in the fort, was entrusted 
with the management of the G-pounder. 

Late in the evening when the smoke of the firing had 
completely enveloped the fort, the enemy proceeded to make 
the assault. Two feints were made towards the southern 
angle, where Captain Hunter s lines were formed; and at 
the same time a column of 350 men were discovered ad 
vancing through the smoke, within twenty paces of the 
northwestern angle. A heavy, galling fire of musquetry 
was now opened upon them from the fort, which threw them 
into some confusion. Colonel Short who headed the prin 
cipal column soon rallied his men, and led them with great 
bravery to the brink of the ditch. After a momentary 
pause he leaped into the ditch, calling to his men to follow 
him, and in a few minutes it was full. The masked port 
hole was now opened, and the 6-pounder, at the distance of 
30 feet, poured such destruction among them, that but few 
who had entered the ditch were fortunate enough to escape. 
A precipitate and confused retreat was the immediate con 
sequence, although some of the officers attempted to rally 


their men. The other column, which was led by Colonel 
Waburton and Major Chambers, was also routed in con 
fusion by a destructive fire from the line commanded by 
Captain Hunter. The whole of them fled into the adjoin 
ing wood, beyond the reach of our small arms. During the 
assault, which lasted half an hour the enemy kept up an in 
cessant fire from their howitzer and five 6-pounders. They 
left Colonel Short, a lieutenant, and twenty-five privates 
dead in the ditch, and the total number of prisoners taken 
was twenty-six, most of them badly wounded. Major Muir 
was knocked down in the ditch, and lay among the dead, 
till the darkness of the night enabled him to escape in 
safety. The loss of the garrison was one killed and seven 
slightly wounded. The total loss of the enemy would not 
be less than 150 killed and wounded. 

When night came on, which was soon after the assault, 
the wounded in the ditch were in a desperate situation. 
Complete relief could not be brought to them by either side 
with any degree of safety. Major Croghan, however, re 
lieved them as much as possible he contrived to convey 
them water over the picketing in buckets, and a ditch was 
opened under the pickets, through which those who were 
able and willing, were encouraged to crawl into the fort. 
All who were able preferred of course to follow their de 
feated comrades, and many others were carried from the 
vicinity of the fort by the Indians, particularly their own 
killed and wounded ; and in the night about 3 :00 o clock, 
the whole British and Indian force commenced a disorderly 
retreat. So great was their precipitation, that they left a 
sail-boat containing some clothing and a considerable quan 
tity of military stores ; and on the next day seventy stand 
of arms, and some braces of pistols were picked up round 
the fort. Their hurry and confusion was caused by the 
apprehension of an attack from General Harrison, of whose 


position and force they had probably received an exag 
gerated account. 

It was the intention of General Harrison, should the 
enemy succeed against Fort Stephenson, or should they 
endeavor to turn his left and fall on Upper Sandusky, to 
leave his cainp at Seneca and fall back for the protection of 
that place. But he discovered by the firing on the evening 
of the 1st, that the enemy had nothing but light artillery, 
which could make no impression on the fort ; and he knew 
that an attempt to storm it without making a breach could 
be successfully repelled by the garrison ; he, therefore, de 
termined to wait for the arrival of 250 mounted volunteers 
under Colonel Renniek, being the advance of 700 who were 
approaching by the way of Upper Sandusky, arid then to 
march against the enemy and raise the siege, if their force 
was not still too great for his. On the 2nd, he sent several 
scouts to ascertain their situation and force; but the woods 
were so infested with Indians, that none of them could pro 
ceed sufficiently near the fort to make the necessary dis 
coveries. In the night a messenger arrived at headquarters 
with intelligence, that the enemy were preparing to retreat. 
About 9:00 o clock, Major Croghan had ascertained from 
their collecting about their boats, that they were preparing 
to embark, and had immediately sent an express to the com- 
mander-in-chief with this information. The general now 
determined to wait no longer for the reinforcements, and 
immediately set out with the dragoons, with whicli he 
reached the fort early in the morning, having ordered Gen 
erals W Arthur and Cass, who had arrived at Seneca sev 
eral days before, to follow him with all the disposable in 
fantry at that place, and which at this time was about 700 
men, after the numerous sick, and the force necessary to 
maintain the position, were left behind. Finding that the 
enemy had fled entirely from the fort so as not to be 


reached by him, and learning that Tecurnseh was some 
where in the direction of Fort Meigs with 2,000 warriors, 
he immediately ordered the infantry to fall back to Seneca, 
lest Tecumseh should make an attack on that place, or in 
tercept the small reinforcements advancing from Ohio. 

In his official report of this affair, General Harrison 
observes that, 

"It will not be among the least of General Proctor s 
mortifications, to find that he has been baffled by a youth, 
who has just passed his twenty-first year. He is, however, 
a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, General George R. 

"Captain Hunter of the 17th regiment, the second in 
command, conducted himself with great propriety; and 
never was there a set of finer young fellows than the subal 
terns, viz : Lieutenants Johnson and Taylor of the 17th, 
Anthony of the 24th, Meeks of the 7th, and Ensigns Shipp 
and Duncan of the 17th." 

Lieutenant Anderson of the 24th was also noticed for 
his good conduct. Being without a command,, he solicited 
Major Croghan for a musket and a post to fight at, which 
he did with the greatest bravery. 

"Too much praise/ says Major Croghau, "cannot be be 
stowed on the officers, non-commissioned officers, and 
privates under my command for their gallantry and good 
conduct during the siege." 

The brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel was immediately 
conferred on Major Croghan by the President of the United 
States, for his gallant conduct on this occasion. The ladies 
of Chillicothe also presented him an elegant sword, accom 
panied by a suitable address. 

Among the scouts sent down the bay, after the enemy 
had retreated, was a little party of Wyandot Indians, who 
surprised and captured a few British soldiers, who had 
been left behind in the retreat. The Indians brought them 


to canip, without doing them any injury; and, conscious 
that they had done their duty, they were frequently seen 
telling the story to their brother warriors, and laughing at 
the terror which had been manifested by the soldiers, who, 
no doubt expected to be massacred or carried off and de 
stroyed by torture. But the Indians who followed the 
American standard had not, like those in the British ser 
vice, been encouraged to commit the most horrible bar 

This second invasion of Ohio like the former, brought 
the patriotism of that State into action. As soon as Gov 
ernor Meigs received certain information, that the enemy 
had entered his territories, he issued his orders in which 
he called on the militia to rise en masse and repel the in 
vaders. The division lately commanded by General M 1 Ar 
thur literally obeyed the call. Every man prepared him 
self to march against the enemy; and through the State 
generally the greatest military ardor and activity prevailed. 
It was supposed that at least ten thousand men were under 
arms and marching to the frontiers. The enemy, however, 
did not wait for their arrival. The foremost corps of 
mounted volunteers was not able to reach headquarters bo- 
fore General Proctor had rendered their services unneces 
sary by his precipitate flight from Lower Sandusky. It 
then became necessary, as in the former case, to disband 
them again, without their having an opportunity to fight; 
which again produced much discontent and chagrin among 
them. Many of them were even highly exasperated against 
the general, for not retaining and employing them efficient 
ly against the enemy. 

They had volunteered not only with the expectation of 
being opposed to the invaders of their State, but also of 
being employed in the main expedition against Upper 
Canada, which it was now evident would soon be carried 


into execution. When a considerable number of them 
arrived at Upper Sandusky, and the retreat of the enemy 
was known, Governor Meigs addressed a letter to General 
Harrison, respecting the course to be pursued with them. 
The general immediately repaired to that place for the pur 
pose of explaining his situation and views to the governor, 
and reconciling the volunteers to the measures he would be 
obliged to adopt. After a personal interview with the gov 
ernor, he committed his explanations to writing, on the 6th 
of August, which he addressed to that officer, as follows : 

"Your excellency s letter of the 4th inst. was handed to 
me yesterday morning by Colonel Brush. The exertions 
which you have made, and the promptitude with which 
your orders have been obeyed, to assemble the militia to 
repel the late invasion, is truly astonishing and reflects the 
highest honor on the State. Believing that in a personal 
interview, I could best explain to you the intentions of the 
government and my own views, I determined to come to 
this place to see you. I now have the honor to repeat to 
you in this way, the result of my determination on the em 
ployment of the militia, and most of the facts on which my 
determination is founded. It has been the intention of the 
government, to form the army destined for operations on 
Lake Erie, exclusively of regular troops, if they could be 
raised. The number was limited to 7000. The deficiency 
of regulars was to be made up from the militia. From all 
the information I at present possess, I am convinced there 
will be a great deficiency in the contemplated number of 
troops, even after the militia now in service, and whose 
time of service Avill not expire immediately, have been added 
to the regulars. I have, therefore, called on the governor 
of Kentucky for two thousand effective men. With those 
there will still be a deficiency of about 1200. Your excel 
lency has stated to me, that the men who have turned out on 
this occasion, have done it with the expectation of being 
effectually employed, and that should they be sent home, 
there is no prospect of getting them to turn out hereafter 
should it be necessary. With my utmost exertions, the em- 


barkation cannot be effected in less than fifteen or eighteen 
days, should I even determine to substitute them for the 
regular troops which are expected. To keep so large a 
force in the field, even for a short period, would consume 
the means which are provided for the support of the cam 
paign, and which are only provided for the number above 
stated. Under these circumstances, I would recommend 
a middle course to your excellency, viz : to dismiss all the 
militia but two regiments of ten companies, each of 100 
men; and the usual proportion of field, platoon, and non 
commissioned officers, etc., that the corps be encamped at 
or near this place, until it is ascertained whether their ser 
vices will be wanted. A short time will determine the 
question. Permit me to request your excellency to give 
your countenance and support to the exertions which Gen 
eral M Arthur will make to fill the 26th regiment of twelve 
month s troops. It appears that the venerable governor of 
Kentucky is about to take command of the troops of that 
State. Could your excellency think proper to follow his 
example, I need not tell you how highly grateful it would 
be, dear sir, to your friend. 

"W. H. Harrison." 

Governor Meigs soon afterwards proceeded to disband 
the volunteers from his State, very much to their dis 
pleasure and motification. They believed that their ser 
vices were slighted, and that General Harrison intended to 
stigmatize them as unfit to be led against the enemy. His 
explanations were deemed unsatisfactory ; and persons 
inimical to him, were ready to encourage the popular dis 
content, by misrepresenting his motives in this case, and 
his conduct in relation to the affair at Lower Sandusky. 
A considerable number passed resolutions, in which they 
depreciated his military talents, and declared that they 
would never repair to his standard again. The publication 
of these resolves, produced an explanatory letter from 
Major Croghan, in which he contradicted the misrepresen 
tations which had been made, and declared his high respect 


for the general and confidence in his military talents. A 
meeting of the general and field officers of the regular 
troops at Seneca was also held, and a public address pre 
pared by them, in which they declared their confidence in 
the general, and their entire approbation of his conduct; 
and that his late plans and movements had been taken with 
the advice of all the general and field officers under his com 
mand. The public confidence in the general, so necessary 
to the commander of militia troops, was thus preserved at 
a critical moment, against the attacks of those who were 
discontented and inimical to his fame. The retained regi 
ments of the Ohio volunteers were encamped at Upper 
Sandusky, but Governor Meigs did not think proper under 
all the circumstances of the case to continue to command 
them in person. 

General Harrison returned again to Seneca, to super 
intend the arrangements for the expedition against Upper 
Canada. On the 9th of August at Lower Sandusky, a 
British boat was discovered coining up the river with a 
flag. When it landed below the fort, Captain Hunter was 
sent to meet the commander, who proved to be Lieutenant 
Le Breton, accompanied by Doctor Banner, with a letter 
from General Proctor to the commandant at Lower San 
dusky, their object being to ascertain the situation of the 
British wounded and afford them surgical aid. Captain 
Hunter invited them to the fort, Le Breton seemed to hes 
itate as if he expected first to be blindfolded, as usual in 
such cases; but Captain Hunter told him to come on, that 
there was nothing in the fort which there was any occasion 
to conceal ; and when he introduced him to Major Croghan 
as the commandant of the fort, he appeared to be astonished 
at the youthful appearance of the hero, who had defeated 
the combined forces of his master. 


As the letter of General Proctor also contained a pro 
position for the paroling of those prisoners, who might be 
in a condition to be removed, the flag was sent by Major 
Croghan to headquarters at Seneca. General Harrison re 
plied to the letter of Proctor, that 

"Major Croghan conformably to those principles which 
are held sacred in the American army, had caused all pos 
sible care to be taken of the wounded prisoners, that his 
situation would admit that every aid which surgical skill 
could give was afforded," 

And that he had already referred the disposal of the 
prisoners to his government and must wait for their deter 
mination. Doctor Banner, in the meantime, had examined 
the situation of the wounded, and was highly gratified with 
the humane treatment they had received. He informed 
Major Croghan that the Indians were highly incensed at 
the failure of the late expedition, and were kept together 
with the utmost difficulty. 

The principal object of our attention will now be the 
preparations for the expedition against Maiden. The 
progress of the naval preparations had been very slow the 
building of the fleet was not completed, till a much later 
period than that originally fixed by the war department; 
and after its completion, still farther delay was caused by 
the want of seamen. Yet, after all this delay on the part 
of the fleet, the regular forces enlisted for the expedition, 
were very far short of the calculations made at the war 
office. The whole regular force of the northwestern army 
in July, did not much exceed two thousand men; and it- 
was not until the 20th of that month, that General Harri 
son was authorized by the government, to make his call on 
the adjoining States, for the militia necessary to complete 
the intended army. On that day at Lower Sandusky, he 
received a letter from the secretary of war, informing him 


that Commodore Perry was instructed to communicate 
with him, respecting naval movements and co-operation, 
and that he was authorized to take of the militia, what in 
his judgment would be necessary. He then immediately 
addressed the following letter to the governor of Kentucky. 

"My Dear Sir I have this moment received a letter 
from the secretary of war, in which he authorizes me to 
call from the neighboring States, such number of militia 
as I may deem requisite for the ensuing operations against 
Upper Canada. It was originally intended that the army 
should consist of regular troops only; but is now ascer 
tained that the contemplated number cannot be raised. It 
is indeed late very late to call our militia; but still it 
will be better to do this, than to enter upon operations on 
which so much depends with inadequate forces. I am not 
informed, as to the difficulties your excellency may have to 
encounter to organize another detachment of militia. I 
believe, however, it will not be impossible for you to reani 
mate your patriotic fellow-citizens, and once more to bring 
a portion of them into the field. What that portion will 
be, your own judgment must determine. I have sent Major 
Trimble my aide-de-camp, to inform you of many circum 
stances which I have not time, nor indeed, would I like to 
commit to paper. Send me as many good men as you can 
conveniently collect, or as you may deem proper to call out 
not less than 400 nor more than 2,000. The period has 
arrived, when with a little exertion, the task assigned to 
this section of the Union may be finished and complete 
tranquility restored to our frontiers. 

"To make this last effort, why not my dear, sir, come in 
person? You would not object to a command, that would 
be nominal only. I have such confidence in your wisdom, 
that you in fact should be the guiding head, and I the 
hand. The situation you would be placed in, would not 
be without its parallel. Scipio the conqueror of Carthage, 
did not disdain to act as the lieutenant of his younger and 
less experienced brother Lucius. I refer you to Major 
Trimble, who is instructed to communicate many particu 
lars to you." 


This letter was delivered to Governor Shelby on the 
30th day of July by Major Trimble, who further detailed 
the plans of General Harrison to the governor ; and stated 
that the general would expect 1500 men from Kentucky 
at least, if that number could be furnished conveniently 
by the State. Governor Shelby proceeded without delay 
to make arrangements for raising the men ; and being con 
fident that the delays necessarily attendant on a draft, and 
on the marching of foot troops so great a distance, would 
prevent a drafted corps of that description from reaching 
headquarters in time, he determined on his own responsi 
bility to rely on raising the necessary number of mounted 
volunteers. Neither the government nor the general had 
intended to employ this kind of troops; but the experienced 
governor of Kentucky well knew, that no other species of 
force could be raised and marched from his State with suffi 
cient promptitude to answer the purpose, and he knew that 
a great many of his fellow-citizens were anxious for an 
opportunity to proceed in this manner against their in 
veterate and merciless enemies. With a degree of energy 
and decision characteristic of his whole life, he, therefore, 
immediately appealed to the patriotism of his fellow-citi 
zens to join him in an expedition of this kind. The follow 
ing circulars, addressed to individuals of military preten 
sions and popularity, and to the militia of the State, were 
published on the next day : 

"Frankfort, July 31st, 1813. 

"Dear Sir The following address to the militia of Ken 
tucky will inform you of the call that has been made upon 
the governor of Kentucky for a reinforcement to the north 
western army, and of my views as to the mode of complying 
with it. T forward 0110 to you particularly, sir, under tho 
hope that you will exert your influence to bring into the 
field all the men in your power. Be so good as to acknowl 
edge the receipt of this loiter, and apprise me of the calcn- 


lations which I may make of the number of men that can 
be raised in your county and whether it will suit your con 
venience to go with us. I shall at all times take a pleasure 
in acknowledging the public spirit by which you will be 
actuated and the obligations you will lay me under. 

"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your 
obedient servant, 

"Isaac Shelby." 

"Colonel A. Z. 

"Fellow Soldiers Your government has taken meas 
ures to act effectually against the enemy in Upper Canada. 
General Harrison, under the authority of the President of 
the United States, has called upon me for a strong body of 
troops to assist in effecting the grand objects of the cam 
paign. The enemy in hopes to find us unprepared, has 
again invested Fort Meigs, but lie will again be mistaken, 
and before you can take the field he will be driven from 
that post, 

"To comply with the requisition of General Harrison, 
a draft might be enforced ; but, believing as I do, that the 
ardor and patriotism of my countrymen has not abated, 
and that they have waited with impatience a fair oppor 
tunity of avenging the blood of their butchered friends, I 
have appointed the 31st day of August next, at Newport, 
for a general rendezvous of KENTUCKY VOLUNTEERS. 
I will meet you there in person. I will lead you to the field 
of battle, and share with you the danger and honors of the 
campaign. Our services will not be required more than 
sixty days after we reach headquarters. 

"I invite all officers, and others possessing influence, to 
come forward with what mounted men they can raise ; each 
shall command the men he may bring into the field. The 
superior officers will be appointed by myself at the place 
of general rendezvous, or on our arrival at headquarters; 
and I shall take pleasure in acknowledging to my country 
the merits and public spirit of those who may be useful in 
collecting a force for the present emergency. 


"Those who have good rifles, and know how to use 
them, will bring them along. Those who have not, will be 
furnished with muskets at Newport. 

"Fellow-citizens! Now is the time to act, and by one 
decisive blow, put an end to the contest in that quarter. 

"Isaac Shelby." 

"Frankfort, July 31st, 1813." 

The reader will observe, that the governor cautiously 
avoids calling any specific number of men, or even hinting 
what force was required by General Harrison. He was 
well convinced that the number wanted would rally at his 
call, and he did not wish to let the enemy have a chance to 
kiioAV what force he was about to bring into the field against 

Colonel Johnson s regiment was also ordered to return 
to the northwestern service. He had scarcely reached 
Kentucky, before General Harrison had been authorized to 
recall him, by a letter from the war department, in which 
the secretary expressed his regret, that the order for his 
march had ever reached General Harrison; and that the 
latter, knowing impropriety of the order, had not on that 
ground delayed its execution. An express was immediately 
sent after the regiment, but was unable to overtake it, be 
fore the men had dispersed and proceeded to their respec 
tive homes. Colonel Johnson then ordered his regiment 
to rendezvous again at the Great Crossings on the 15th, and 
at Newport on the 17th of August. The officers were par 
ticularly requested to make every exertion to march com 
plete companies, by recruiting volunteers to serve sixty 
days after tlie 20th of August, or ninety days if required. 
Their exertions were attended with the most complete suc 
cess the companies were not only filled, even beyond the 
limit of the law, but in many instances more offered their 
services than the officers deemed it prudent to accept. The 
zeal and abilities of Colonel Johnson, together with his un- 


remitting attention to the interests of his men, inspired his 
fellow-citizens with confidence in him, as a military leader, 
and securing the universal esteem of his troops, united 
them as a band of brothers in the common cause. 

But such was now the ardor of the Kentuckians, at the 
flattering prospect of finishing the war in the northwest, 
that the filling of one regiment was but a very small part 
of the forces they were ready to furnish. The address of 
the governor, like an electric spark, set fire to all the com 
bustible spirits of the State, and with one consent they 
were heard to say come, let us rally round the eagle of 
our country, for old King s mountain will certainly lead us 
to victory and conquest. Men of influence in every part of 
the State came forward, and were generally followed by 
most of their neighbors who could make it convenient to 
leave their homes. 

With a view to apprise the government of the measures 
he had taken, and to secure their approbation of his course, 
the governor on the 1st of August, addressed a letter to the 
war department, from which the following is an extract. 

"Much delay would have been the inevitable conse 
quence of ordering out the militia in the ordinary mode of 
draft. As mounted volunteers, a competent force can, I 
feel confident, be easily raised. I have, therefore, ap 
pointed the 31st of this month, at Newport, in this State, 
for a general rendezvous of mounted volunteers. I have 
the honor of enclosing for the information of the President, 
a copy of my address to the militia of this State on the 
occasion. The prospect of acting effectually against Upper 
Canada, will, I have no doubt, call forth a large force to 
our standard, and they will be immediately marched to the 
headquarters of the northwestern army, in such bodies as 
will most facilitate their movements. When there they 
can act as footmen, or mounted, as circumstances may re 
quire. I shall take great pleasure to hear from the Presi 
dent on this subject, previous to my departure from this 


place, and I request the favor of you to lay this letter 
immediately before him for his consideration, and that you 
will be pleased to apprise me of the result by the earliest 

The following are extracts of letters from the governor 
to General Harrison. On the 2nd of August, after stating 
the measure he had taken, he proceeds : 

"I need not observe to you, how important it will be to 
have rations and forage provided on the way. It will be 
impossible to move on without the latter. Indeed, a supply 
must be laid in, at Georgetown in this State. Men who 
travel from the southern parts of it, will require both 
rations and forage at that place to enable them to proceed. 
I beg you may attend to this subject, and let me know what 
is to be expected. Seeing that you cannot be reinforced 
in any other way, the government must not stickle at the 
trifling expense of a little forage, to obtain an efficient force 
for the main objects of the campaign. No apology was 
necessary to invite me to your standard. Had I more age 
and much greater experience, I would not hesitate to fight 
under your banner, for the honor and interest of my beloved 

"August 8. I have received information from various 
parts of the State, that the volunteer scheme will succeed ; 
but it is impossible to speak with any kind of certainty at 
so early a stage of the business. I flatter myself, that I 
shall be able to bring into the field from two to three thous 
and or upwards. My present view is, that all these men 
will ride to the margin of the lake, and if they cross over, 
leave about one-tenth to bring the horses back some dis 
tance, and herd them in parcels in the best range, until the 
campaign expires. Many of the volunteers, that will com 
pose this corps, will be gentlemen who care less about 
emoluments than their own ease and convenience, and must 
have their horses taken care of, to ride home again. A 
great proportion of the volunteers will come from the 
southwestern part of the State, who will have to travel 
from two to three hundred miles, before they arrive at the 
point of rendezvous. Many of them, too, will be poor men, 


who will not be able to proceed, unless forage and rations 
are both supplied. Indeed I shall expect, that forage will 
be directed to be furnished at Georgetown in this State. 
Horses will otherwise become so weak, that it will be im 
possible for them to proceed further. 

"Your aide-de-camp, Major Trimble, has stated that you 
would not guarantee the pay of more than 2,000 men, but 
would accept the services of a much larger number. Were 
I to make this public, I am confident it would dampen the 
ardor of the volunteers. Even gentlemen of fortune, of 
whom there are many that will go in the ranks, could not 
with any confidence encourage their poorer neighbors, to 
hazard their lives and lose their time for nothing. It is at 
any rate a great sacrifice, for a citizen of Kentucky to make 
for the mere pay of a common soldier for the service of 
himself and horse. I hope you will reflect on this subject 
and authorize payment for all that go, at least for 4,000 
men, should that many turn out ; for I shall otherwise not 
be able to draw the distinction between those that will be 
entitled to receive pay and those that will not." 

These extracts exhibit the solicitude of Governor Shelby 
to raise a force sufficient to give a decisive blow, and to 
take care that such a force should be received into service, 
and should not be disappointed and defeated by the want 
of accommodations on their way. 

To these letters General Harrison replied on the 18th 
of August at Seneca, that 

"Every arrangement has been made for the proper ac 
commodation of the volunteers agreeably to your sugges 
tion. I am so well persuaded that the government will 
approve the measure of receiving the men, whom you may 
bring with you above the contemplated 2,000, that I will 
not hesitate to say that I will accept them. Everything is 
in a fair train for the commencement of operations on your 
arrival. Our fleet is now off Sandusky bay. I shall go 
down to it to-morrow morning, and take with me seventy 
men to act as marines. I wish the commodore to go immed- 


lately to Maiden, and endeavor to bring the enemy to 
action. Colonel Bartlett says, that you shall have forage. 
"I have been much disappointed in the number of regu 
lar troops. However, we are daily adding a little to them. 
The Pennsylvania regiment of militia, which were stationed 
at Erie, and which were to have joined me, have refused 
to march. This circumstance has determined me to accept 
your surplusage. I am determined not to have it believed 
again, that I am at the head of an army, when I have only 
the amount of a regiment, as was the case lately. 

When the war department authorized General Harrison 
to proceed in completing his army from the militia, he was 
informed that the regiment stationed at Erie was placed 
under his command, but when he called upon them, they 
declined the service. Some of them volunteered to go in 
the fleet, and 

"The rest," says the general in a letter to the war de 
partment, "have resolved that they will come on to join 
this army as ordered, provided they get two months pay 
before hand." 

However, like the disobedient son, in the parable, they 
afterwards repented and came, bringing with them the 
boats from Cleveland to Sandusky bay for the embarka 
tion of the other troops. 

Major Trimble having arrived at headquarters from 
Kentucky, addressed a letter to Governor Shelby on the 
18th, in which he says: 

"Everything here looks like invasion, and you may rely 
on seeing the Canada shore soon after you arrive. Should 
Kentucky fail to do her duty at this time, she will be 
damned for ever. She will have to hide her head, and pray 
for the mountains to fall upon her and cover her." 

The major was a Kentuckian, and the sentiment here 
expressed was common to his patriotic fellow-citizens. 
They were determined in this last effort, to sustain the 


reputation of their State, and to inflict a signal punish 
ment on the enemy, by whose barbarities they had suffered 
so much. 

We must now turn our attention to the naval affairs on 
the lake, which at an early period this year claimed the 
attention of both governments. The British, however, had 
already the command of the lake, being in possession of a 
considerable fleet on its bosom ; whilst the Americans had 
not a single armed vessel above the falls of Niagara. Great- 
industry and exertion were hence necessary on our part, to 
enable us to meet the enemy on equal terms in the present 
campaign. With this view, workmen were employed and 
the keels of two brigs and several schooners were laid early 
in March at Erie, to which place Commodore Perry as we 
have noticed already, was sent to superintend their con 
struction and equipment. There was abundance of timber 
convenient, but every other article had to be transported 
from other places, mostly from Pittsburgh and Philadel 
phia; and such were the difficulties which had to be en 
countered, that the progress in fitting out the fleet, did not 
keep pace with the expectations formed by the government. 
One regiment of militia and a few regulars were employed 
for the protection of the workmen and the vessels they were 
building. No attempt, however, was made to molest them, 
till the 20th of July, when the undertaking was nearly com 
pleted. The enemy had this season built a twenty gun 
brig at Maiden, and with this addition to their force, they 
probably deemed their naval superiority so decided, as to be 
careless about the progress of our labors; or perhaps it 
was their policy to let us spend our time and labor in the 
completion of our vessels, before they paid them a destroy 
ing visit. The manner in which they conducted the cam 
paign, however, appears to us reprehensible. Had General 
Proctor proceeded with his regulars, militia, and Indians, 



supported by a train of heavy artillery, against our prepa 
rations at Erie, instead of wasting his time and strength in 
vain attempts on Fort Meigs, he might have done us much 
greater injury, and perhaps have defeated us in the present 
campaign, by preventing the erection of a navy competent 
to the command of the lake. If he had only destroyed the 
boats prepared at Cleveland, he would have caused us more 
serious difficulties than any we experienced from his for 
midable invasions. But it has been stated that his Indians 
were not disposed to leave terra firma, and hazard them 
selves in a cruise so far down the lake. 

However, about the 20th of July, while the land forces 
were sent on a demonstration against Fort Meigs, the 
larger vessels of their fleet proceeded down the lake to re 
connoitre at Erie ; in sight of which they remained two or 
three days, apparently threatening, and perhaps really in 
tending, to attack the place; but without having made an 
attempt, .they at last stretched over the lake towards Long- 
Point. Their menace excited a considerable hustle and 
alarm at Erie, lest the vessels in their present advanced 
state should be destroyed, and the flattering prospects of 
the campaign be thus blasted. Major General Meade, who 
commanded the militia of the adjacent country, immediate 
ly issued an order to the contiguous brigade of his division, 
to repair en masse to Erie for the protection of the fleet. 
The order was promptly obeyed, and in a few days upwards 
of fifteen hundred men were assembled at the place ap 
pointed. Captain Perry, in the meantime, in order to amuse 
the enemy, had sent out two of his gunboats, which gave 
them a few shot ; but they kept at so great a distance that 
no damage was done. 

Commodore Perry now redoubled his exertions to finish 
his equipments, which he at last completed about the 2nd 
of August, and on the two following days succeeded in got 


ting his heaviest vessels over the bar at the mouth of the 
harbor. The water being but 6 or 7 feet deep, it was nec 
essary to buoy them up with his light vessels and scows; 
all of which was accomplished in the face of the enemy, who 
had returned in his fleet on the evening of the 3rd, and re 
mained in sight all the next day, but without offering any 
molestation to the progress of this work. As soon as our 
fleet was completely over the bar, the enemy again left us 
and sailed towards Long Point. A sufficient number of 
sailors, not having yet arrived to man our vessels, the com 
modore now proposed to receive volunteers for 48 hours 
from the Pennsylvania militia, and a sufficient number ac 
cepted his invitation to enable him to sail next morning in 
pursuit of the enemy. He crossed the lake to Long Point, 
and then proceeded up the British shore some distance 
without discovering their fleet, which had, in fact, returned 
to Maiden, for their new brig and other reinforcements, on 
discovering the force which Perry was able to bring against 
them. Our fleet then returned to Erie, to discharge the 
militia volunteers, that were on board, and supply their 
place with sailors. In the meantime, General Meade had 
discharged all the militia, who had come forward at his 
call, to meet the menaced descent of the British. The fleet 
being equipped for action, and able to give the enemy 
chase, their services were no longer required in the field of 
Mars, but were much needed in their harvest fields at home. 
Lieutenant Elliott was bringing ninety sailors, from the 
fleet under Commodore Chauncey on Lake Ontario, to man 
the fleet on Erie. Boats were sent down the lake to meet 
them, which brought them up in safety, and enabled our 
commodore to spread his canvass again, and proceed up the 
lake. He arrived off Sandusky Bay on the 5th, and Cap 
tain Richardson, who had been sent by the general to Erie, 
and had now returned in the fleet, came out immediately to 


headquarters to announce its arrival and request a com 
pany of soldiers to act as marines. General Harrison ac 
companied by several officers, went down to the fleet, tak 
ing with him a company, commanded by Captain Stockton, 
of the 28th regiment of 12 months regulars under Colonel 
Owings from Kentucky, including all the seamen that could 
be found in the army; and also about 20 volunteers under 
Lieutenant Coburn from Payne s company of Johnson s 
regiment. The Kentuckians, some of whom had probably 
never seen a ship before, relying on their skill to shoot, 
were thus ready to meet the enemy on any element, how 
ever novel the intended enterprise might be to them. In 
the consultation between the land and naval commanders, 
it was agreed that the commodore should proceed immedi 
ately off Maiden, to brave the enemy s fleet, and if possible 
bring them to action, before he should take our troops on 
board to transport them over the lake. It was apprehended, 
however, that the enemy would be prudent enough to de 
cline the contest, until our fleet was encumbered with our 
land forces. 

As soon as our commodore had displayed his canvass 
before Maiden, a considerable bustle took place on board 
the British fleet, but no attempt was made to come out and 
engage him, although he did not fail to challenge them to 
the combat. Finding that they did not intend to fight, he 
sent the Ariel as near as she could proceed with safe 
ty, to examine them more narrowly. Their new brig, which 
they called the Detroit, was launched; and the two fleets 
were apparently of equal force. The British, however, had 
the superiority their vessels were larger than ours, were 
better manned, and carried a greater number of guns. The 
following were the vessels, and number of guns in each 




Lawrence 20 

Niagara 20 

Caledonia 3 


Ariel 4 (1 burst) 

Scorpion 2 

Somers 2, and 2 swivels 

Tigress 1 

Perenpine 1 


Trippe 1 

Total 54, 2 swivels 



Detroit 19, and2hwt s. 

Q. Charlotte 17, and 1 hwtV 


Lady Prevost 13, and 1 hwt s. 

Hunter 10 


Little Belt 3 


Chippeway 1, and 2 swivels 

Total 63, 4 hwt s., 2 swivels 

American 54, hwt s., 2 swivels 

Superiority <), 4 liwt s., swivels 


The commodore did not remain long off Maiden, but 
finding the enemy not inclined to meet him, returned to 
Put-in-Bay, in Bass Island, where we shall leave him a 
few days, to watch the sailing of the British fleet under 
Commodore Barclay, whilst we notice some other occur 

General Harrison, having learned that much dissatis 
faction prevailed among the British Indians, since the re 
pulse of the allies at Lower Sandusky, determined to make 
use of means to detach them completely, if possible, from 
the British cause. He sent some friendly Wyandot chiefs, 
in whom he had confidence, to confer w r ith the warriors of 
their tribe, who had joined the British under Walk-in-the- 
water, and also with the other hostile tribes in general, 
with a view to negotiate a peace and reconcile them to a 
neutral course in the approaching contest. When these 
cominisstiouers arrived at Brownstown, information ^>f 
their business was immediately communicated to Elliott, 
and they were obliged to deliver their talk, which should 
have been addressed to the Wyandots alone, to a general 
council of all the hostile chiefs, at which Elliott and M Kee 
were present. They were answered by Round Head, who 
was entirely in the British interest, and who spoke what 
Elliott pleased to dictate. A private message, however, 
was sent by Walk-in-the-water, that he would use his best 
exertions to detach the Indians from the British, and that 
he had determined not to fight us, but on the advance of 
our army, to seize the Huron church at Sandwich, with all 
the warriors he could engage to assist him, and defend him 
self there against the British and their adherents. The 
general was thus convinced that no material defection was 
to be expected among the allies of the British. 

General M Arthur was sent about this time to take the 
command at Fort Meigs, with instructions to draw in the 


pickets and construct a fortification on a smaller scale, 
and to make arrangements for embarking the heavy artil 
lery with such military stores as might be found neces 

The mounted regiment, under Colonel Johnson, assem 
bled in pursuance of his orders at the places appointed for 
their rendezvous, bringing with them a great accession of 
strength in new recruits. Every company in the regiment 
had more than its legal complement of men. Captain 
M Afee had 152, including officers and privates; Captains 
Combs and Davidson had each upwards of 130. The colo 
nel received orders from General Harrison, to march imme 
diately to the frontiers, for the purpose of escorting provi 
sions from the posts on the St. Marys and Auglaize to Fort 
Meigs, preparatory to the embarkation of the troops for 
the main expedition. The regiment marched by companies, 
and on the 20th arrived at Dayton, where the colonel re 
ceived information, that the Indians had recently killed 
two men and a woman, some distance within the frontiers 
near Piqua, and that the citizens, much alarmed and en 
raged, had assembled in considerable numbers, with a de 
termination to take revenge on the friendly Shawanese and 
Delawares, residing near that place, whom they accused 
of committing the murders. Colonel Johnson immediately 
pushed forward in advance of the regiment with Captain 
Coleman s company, and on arriving at Piqua, was in 
formed by John Johnson, Esq., the Indian agent, that he 
had called on the chiefs for an explanation, and had been 
assured by them with much candor and promptitude, that 
the British were attempting to embroil them with their 
white brethren, by sending hostile Indians to commit dep 
redations in their vicinity, in the expectation that the 
whites would charge it to them. Two murders had also 
been committed near Manary s blockhouse, and the Shaw- 


anese at Wapoghconata had informed the agent that a 
hostile party had previously passed that place, by whom it 
was evident the murders must have been committed. It 
was with great difficulty, however, that the citizens could 
be pacified. The circumstances being made known to Gen 
eral Harrison, he published an address to the frontier in 
habitants, assuring them that he had received satisfactory 
evidence that the murders were committed by the hostile 
Indians, and entreating the people not to take redress into 
their own hands, but to rely on the government which 
would certainly inflict exemplary punishment for any ag 
gressions committed by the friendly Indians. This address 
with the arrival of the mounted regiment quieted the 
minds of the people, and reconciled them to trust for safety 
and satisfaction to the army and the government. 

As the means for transportation were not yet in readi 
ness, the regiment was separated into several detachments, 
and stationed at different posts, where the companies were 
all diligently drilled under the superintendence of the 
field officers. Much credit is due to Lieutenant Colonel 
James Johnson, for the ability and diligence with which 
he attended on all occasions to the training of his men. 
To him they were greatly indebted for that proficiency in 
the knowledge of their duties, which rendered them terrible 
to the enemy in the day of battle. The good conduct and 
ardor of the troops were also much promoted by the prac 
tice of addressing them publicly on their duties, which was 
pursued by the colonel and some other officers, who were 
possessed of talents for extemporary speaking. Colonel 
Johnson had taken particular care at all times, to have his 
men completely familiarized with appropriate order of 
battle. In his orders of this description he provided for 
two very important matters in Indian fighting for out 
flanking the enemy, and for charging through their lines 


and forming in their rear. The following are extracts on 
these points : 

"The balance of the two columns, (in the order of 
march), viz.: Captains Matson and Ellison shall join and 
extend the line of battle on the right and in line with Cap 
tain M Afee; and the right flank (in the order of march), 
on the same principle shall extend the line of battle by fil 
ing to the right, with positive orders on each flank to out 
flank the enemy, Captain Craig s company remaining on 
horseback until he turns his flank and gets in his rear; and 
so of the left column and left flank, Captain Combs extend 
ing the line of battle on the left, and Captain Rice uniting 
with him, but being on the extreme left, he shall not dis 
mount until he outflanks and gains the rear of the enemy. 7 
In an order of the 3rd of September, he directs that 
"Captain Warfleld will march on the right of Captain 
Ellison, and form with him a column of double files. Cap 
tain Rice will march on the left of Captain Combs, and 
Captain Hamilton on the right of Captain Coleman, each 
forming a line of double files. These double lines are to 
form the charging column, and are to charge through the 
line of the enemy, and form in their rear, by wheeling to 
the right and left, at a moment when a general and ex 
hausted fire of the enemy may render it practicable. But 
should a general retreat of the enemy render this impos 
sible, each column will deploy to the light and left, and 
fall upon the flanks of the enemy. Major Payne will lead 
the right column ; Major Thompson the left ; and the colo 
nels the center. The charging columns are to act princi 
pally on horseback." 

These orders were much approved in the regiment, as 
being well adapted for Indian fighting; for in contending 
with savages, the only chance to save the men is to make a 
bold dash at the enemy in the beginning, and never turn 
your back upon them afterwards. To stand and fight them 
in regular order, only exposes the man and hazards the 
victory ; for in such a case they will kill two to one of the 


best marksmen that can be opposed to them. The best 
method is to outflank them, rush upon them, drive them 
from their lurking places, and pursue them closely. 

About the 1st of September, the troops were enabled to 
proceed in the business of transportation, about 20 wagons, 
and a brigade of packhorses, having arrived for that pur 
pose. The greater part of the regiment had arrived at 
Fort Winchester on the 9th of September, a day which had 
been appointed by the President at the request of Congress, 
as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer. Those who 
chose to observe it in that manner were encouraged to do 
so; and although there is in general but little religion to 
be found in an army, yet on the evening of this day, a num 
ber of little parties were seen in different parts of the 
lines, paying their devotions to the God of armies, and 
chanting his praises with plainness, sincerity, and zeal; 
whilst their less pious, but moral and orderly compatriots, 
preserved around them, the strictest order and decorum. 
A pleasing tranquillity pervaded the ranks, and the patriot 
soldier seemed to feel a cheering confidence, that the God 
of battles would shield him in the hour of danger. The 
author of this history could not but feel that the special 
protection of heaven would be enjoyed by the American 
army, while nobly fighting in the cause of justice and 
humanity. Such were the harmony and good order con 
stantly prevailing in this regiment, and the mutual 
confidence and good will between the officers and men, that 
there is scarcely an individual among them, who does not 
look back to those days as the happiest of his life, and who 
did not love and respect his commandant as an elder 

The next day, the 10th of September an important and 
memorable day in the present campaign was spent by the 
regiment in training, and in fighting sham battles, the 


exact miniature of that which they were soon to fight in 
reality. A line of infantry was formed, and the horses 
were practiced to charge through it at full speed ; and such 
was the tract-ability and the force of custom in this noble 
animal, that in a little time there was scarcely a horse in 
the regiment that would flinch at a line of infantry envel 
oped in a blaze of fire and smoke. Those who are unac 
quainted with the docility of this animal, would scarcely 
believe that he could be brought to have so much contempt 
for danger, to understand so well the different sounds of 
the trumpet, and seemingly to participate in the sentiments 
and views of his rider. The beautiful description of the 
horse, which is given in holy writ, was fully verified in our 

"He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength : 
he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, 
and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the 
sword. The quiver rattleth against him, and the glitter 
ing spear, and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with 
fierceness and rage; neither believeth he that it is the 
sound of the trumpet." 

A few days afterwards the regiment proceeded towards 
the Rapids, using the precaution to march in a body, as 
several straggling parties of Indians had lately been dis 
covered, and it w^as known that Tecumseh had a consider 
able mounted force, w r ith which it \vas probable he might 
attempt some enterprise in that quarter of the country. 

Governor Shelby was also now advancing towards the 
frontiers with a strong corps of mounted volunteers. Early 
in August he had selected General John Adair, of Mercer, 
for his first aide a gentleman whose military talents were 
universally acknowledged and respected. In the latter 
part of the month instructions were issued for all officers 
commanding volunteer corps, to draw arms and ammuni 
tion on their arrival at Newport, and then proceed towards 


the headquarters of the northwestern army by slow 
inarches; and Major George Walker was dispatched in the 
capacity of brigade major and quartermaster to super 
intend the business at Newport, On the 1st of September, 
about three thousand five hundred men, all sturdy Ken- 
tuckians, had crossed the Ohio, with their venerable gov 
ernor at their head, like an ancient oak, still green, strong, 
and majestic; for although he had now reached the 63rd 
year of his age, yet the vigor of his person, and the decisive 
energy of his mind, were such as are rarely found in those 
who have numbered half his years. 

The arsenal at Newport was drained of all the arms fit 
for use, and still there was a deficiency of 700 or 800. The 
governor immediately wrote to General Harrison advising 
him of this circumstance. 

"I have ordered (he continues) all my forces to con 
centrate at Springfield, where I shall halt a day or two for 
some ammunition and hospital stores, and endeavor to 
organize the army, after which not a moment shall be lost 
till we join you. We are about 3,500 strong, as nearly as I 
can at present judge, and all mounted. In a letter I had 
the honor to address you before I left Frankfort, I took the 
liberty to recommend the calling on Governor Meigs for an 
additional force of his militia, to enable you to make a sure 
stroke on the enemy. I am still of the same opinion; for 
although you may be restricted to a particular number, to 
make the descent into Canada, you ought to put nothing 
to hazard. Should you even transcend your powers, if we 
are fortunate, your country Avill approve the measure, and 
if otherwise, she cannot complain. I shall be sorry to see 
any attempt made to invade the enemy s country, until we 
are prepared to hold every inch of ground that we may con 
quer. I shall be highly gratified to hear from you on my 
march, and to be apprized of so much of your views, as it 
may be proper and safe to communicate. " Shelby. 


The organization was not entirely completed at Spring 
field; forage being scarce, it became necessary to move on 
towards Urbana, to which place Major Walker and Colonel 
Joseph M Dowell were sent in advance to make prepara 
tions, the former being appointed quartermaster general, 
with the rank of colonel, and the latter adjutant general 
with the same rank. At Urbana the organization was com 
pleted. The troops were formed into 11 regiments, to be 
commanded by Colonels Trotter, Donaldson, Poague, 
Mont joy, Rennick, Davenport, Taul, Calloway, Simrall, 
Barbour, and Williams. Out of these regiments five brig 
ades were formed a division under Major General W r illiam 
Henry ; the other two formed a division under Major Gen 
eral Joseph Desha. John Crittenden, Esq., was appointed 
2nd aide to the governor; W. T. Barry, Esq., secretary ; and 
Thomas T. Barr, Esq., judge advocate general. Each com 
mandant of a regiment appointed his own staff and sur 
geons, and the office of hospital surgeon was given by the 
governor to Doctor A. J. Mitchell. 

About the 9th of September the volunteers marched 
from Urbana, and on the 12th arrived at Upper Sandusky, 
where Tahe, the ancient Wyandot chief, was introduced to 
Governor Shelby ; he had expressed a great desire to see the 
governor of Kentucky. The following letter from General 
Harrison was received at this place : 

"Headquarters, Seneca, 12th September, 1813. 
"You will find arms at Upper Sandusky; also a con 
siderable quantity at Lower Sandusky. I set out from this 
place in an hour. Our fleet has beyond all doubt met that 
of the enemy. The day before yesterday an incessant and 
tremendous cannonading was heard in the direction of 
Maiden by a detachment of troops coming from Fort Meigs. 
It lasted two hours. I am all anxiety for the event. There 
will be no occasion for your halting here. Lower San 
dusky affords fine grazing. W r ith respect to a station for 


your horses, there is the best in the world immediately at 
the place of embarkation. The Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, 
and Portage River form between them a peninsula, the 
isthmus of which is only one mile and a half across. A 
fence of that length, and a sufficient guard left there, would 
make all the horses of the army safe. It would enclose 
fifty or sixty thousand acres, in which are many cultivated 
fields, which having been abandoned, are now grown up 
with the finest grass. Your sick had better be left at Upper 
Sandusky or here. 


Within half an hour after the above letter was written, 
the general received the following laconic note from the 
commodore, by express from Lower Sandusky : 

"U. S. Brig. Niagara, off the Western Sister, etc., 

"September 10, 1813, 4 P. M. 

"Dear General W T e have met the enemy and they are 
ours two ships, two brigs, one schooner and a sloop. 
"Yours with great respect and esteem, 

"Oliver Hazard Perry/ 

This exhilarating news set Lower Sandusky and Camp 
Seneca in an uproar of tumultuous joy. The general im 
mediately proceeded to the former place, and issued his 
orders for the movement of the troops, and transportation 
of the provisions, military stores, etc., to the margin of the 
lake, preparatory to their embarkation. An encampment 
had already been formed there, which was now enlarged 
and some blockhouses commenced. Governor Shelby, on 
the receipt of the letter from Harrison at Upper Sandusky, 
had proceeded with his unit in advance of his troops, and 
met the news of the naval victory at Fort Ball ; from which 
place he addressed a hasty note to Major General William 
Henry, who had been left in command at Upper Sandusky, 
informing him of the glorious result on the lake, that the 
army would consequently pass into Canada without loss of 


time, and that he must use his best exertions to reach the 
point of embarkation as soon as possible. General Henry, 
a veteran of the revolution, well knew the importance of 
despatch, and pressed forward on bad roads, through deep 
swamps, at the rate of thirty miles a day, with all the 
forces, until arrived at headquarters on the margin of the 
lake, on the 15th and 16th of September; at which place 
the governor had previously arrived on the 14th, a few 
minutes before the fleet had made its appearance, return 
ing from its victorious battle. On the 15th, upwards of 300 
British prisoners were landed from the fleet, and placed 
under the care of the infantry. A few days afterwards 
they were escorted by a guard of Kentucky militia under 
quartermaster Payne to Franklinton and Chillicothe. 

VICTORY ON THE LAKE. We must now turn our atten 
tion to the particulars of the naval battle. After remain 
ing a few days at Put-in-Bay,Commodore Perry had return 
ed in full view of Maiden, and offered battle again to the 
British fleet, which they again declined ; but they now ap 
peared to be making great exertions to get ready for a con 
test. The commodore then withdrew, and came down the 
lake off Sandusky Bay, in hopes that the enemy would fol 
low him, or at least come out on the lake. While at this 
station, three American citizens, who had made their es 
cape from Detroit, arrived at the fleet in an open boat, from 
whom it was ascertained that the enemy had been greatly 
straitened for provisions since our fleet had been on the 
lake. They had previously brought up a considerable por 
tion of their supplies on the lake from Long Point. By the 
same persons the force of the enemy was stated to be 800 
regulars, 1,000 militia, and nearly 2,000 Indians. On the 
5th of September, the commodore informed General Harri 
son in a letter from Sandusky Bay, that his men were suf 
fering very much by sickness, and that his fleet could not 


transport more than 3,000 men, with which number he 
would be so crowded as to be unable to use any of his guns. 
A few days afterwards lie returned to Put-in-Bay to wait 
for sailing of the British fleet. 

At sunrise on Friday morning, the 10th of September, 
the enemy were discovered standing out from Maiden. The 
American squadron immediately weighed anchor, and pro 
ceeded to meet them. It was the intention of commodore 
Barclay to engage his opponent before he could clear the 
islands near the head of the lake; and the wind, being in 
the southwest, was favorable to his plan; but before 10 
o clock the American fleet had gained the open lake, be 
tween the islands and the mouth of the river Detroit. 
About the same time the wind changed to the southeast, 
and thus brought the American squadron to the windward. 
Our commodore then formed his line of battle, and bore up 
against the enemy. An hour of awful suspense ensued. 
All hands stood ready, as soon as the winds could bring the 
hostile fleets together, to commence the desperate conflict, 
which was to decide the command of the upper lakes, and 
sink or save a British province. The fleets were new, and 
traversed a new theater of war. The British commodore, 
however, was old in experience and well advanced in years. 
He had bled in the battle of Trafalgar, and had imbibed the 
naval tactics of Nelson. The American was young, and 
had never heard the thunder of a hostile ship; but skilled 
in the theory of naval war, and teeming with the courage 
and enterprise of an American freeman, he was ready for 
the contest with a foe superior in force and experience. 

At 15 minutes before 12, the enemy opened his fire, but 
it was not returned for 10 minutes by the American fleet, 
which was much inferior in long guns. The battle then 
commenced on both sides ; but owing to the superiority of 
the British in long guns, their fire was found to be the most 


destructive, and being chiefly directed against the Law 
rence, the foremost ship, in which the commodore sailed, lie 
was induced to make every exertion to close with the 
enemy, directing the other vessels to follow his example. 
In a short time every brace and bowline of the Lawrence 
was shot away, and she became unmanageable, notwith 
standing the great exertions of her sailing master. In this 
situation she sustained the conflict with the Detroit and 
Queen Charlotte, upwards of two hours within cannister 
distance, until every gun was rendered useless, and the 
greater part of her crew either killed or wounded. The 
commodore, now finding that she could no longer annoy 
the enemy, conceived the bold design of leaving her, and 
passing in an open boat to the Niagara, which the lowness 
of the wind had long prevented, with the lighter vessels 
from coming into close action. At half past 2 the wind 
increased and enabled Captain Elliott to bring up the 
Niagara in gallant style. The commodore then consigned 
the Lawrence to the command of Lieutenant Yarnall, 
whose bravery already displayed was a sure pledge that he 
would do everything in his power for the honor of the flag; 
and proceeded towards the Niagara, standing erect in an 
open boat, a fair mark for the musketry of the enemy, 
within the range of which he had to pass, bearing his flag 
with the motto 

"Don t Give Up The Ship." 

His men, more careful of his life, pulled him down by force 
from the dangers of an incessant fire, directed at him by 
the enemy. When safe on board the Niagara, the remnant 
of his crew in the Lawrence gave three cheers for joy at his 
success. He then expressed his fears to Captain Elliott, 
that the victory was lost, by the lighter vessels remaining 
at so great a distance in the rear. The captain replied that 
he hoped not, and immediately tendered his services to 



bring them up to a position where they could render more 
effectual service. The Niagara was now at the head of the 
lines, and Captain Elliott had to proceed on this service, 
down th.e whole line of the enemy, in a small boat exposed 
to their incessant fire; yet he accomplished the perilous 
enterprise uninjured, though completely soaked with the 
water thrown upon him by the balls which struck around 
him. He brought up the remotest gun boats, and placed 
them under the sterns of the heaviest vessels of the enemy, 
where they were enabled to do much execution. In the 
meantime the commodore in the Niagara, which had been 
but little injured, made the signal for close action, and de 
termined to pass through the enemy s line. He bore up 
and ran ahead of their two ships and a brig, giving a rak 
ing fire to them from his starboard guns, and to their large 
schooner and sloop on the starboard side, at half pistol- 
shot distance. By this bold project of breaking through 
the line of the enemy, all the guns of the Niagara were 
brought, at the same moment, to bear on his vessels in the 
most effectual manner ; and at the same time the gun boats 
were brought by Captain Elliott, to pour destruction into 
the sterns of his large ships, and the other small vessels to 
play upon them within grape and cannister distance. Such 
a galling, destructive fire could not be long sustained by 
the British their two ships, a brig and a schooner, quickly 
surrendered. The sloop and the other schooner attempted 
to escape by flight, but the American schooners soon com 
pelled them to strike. The whole squadron was thus cap 
tured, not a vessel having escaped to carry the dismal news 
to Maiden. 

Soon after Commodore Perry had left the Lawrence, he 
had the extreme mortification to see her flag come down. 
But he was perfectly satisfied thai she had been defended 
to the last extremity, and that a show of further resistance 


would have been a wanton sacrifice of the remains of her 
brave crew. The enemy, however, were so shattered at 
that time, that they were unable to take possession of her, 
and her brave commander soon hoisted her flag again. 
Though several times wounded, he refused to quit the deck, 
and had the satisfaction to see the whole fleet of the enemy 
surrender, while his flag was flying over the shattered hulk 
of the Lawrence. Many other instances of individual hero 
ism were displayed too numerous, indeed, to be noticed 
in a general history. 

On the evening after the battle, the commodore an 
nounced his victory to the secretary of the navy, by the 
following modest and much admired letter. 

"Sir It has pleased the Almighty to give the arms of 
the United States, a signal victory over their enemies on 
this lake. The British squadron, consisting of two brigs, 
two ships, one schooner, and one sloop, have this moment 
surrendered to the force under my command, after a sharp 


It was indeed a sharp conflict, and even late in the 
battle the victory was extremely doubtful. During the 
first two and a half hours, the American squadron fought 
to a great disadvantage, the action being chiefly sustained 
all that time by the Lawrence. The fresh breeze which 
sprung up, about the time that vessel was entirely disabled, 
turned the fortune of the day in our favor, by enabling all 
our vessels to press on the enemy, break through his line, 
and rake him effectually in every direction. 

The loss on board the Lawrence was 22 killed and 64 
wounded ; and the vessel was so completely cut up, that it 
was absolutely necessary to send her immediately into a 
safe harbor. The loss in the whole fleet was 27 killed and 
96 wounded. The Niagara had only 2 killed the Gale- 


donia, Somers and Trippe had none. The loss of the enemy 
was 72 killed, about double that number wounded, and 
upwards of 300 prisoners. Commodore Perry, in his first 
accounts of the battle, in the above letters to General Har 
rison and the secretary of the navy, committed a trifling 
error in styling the Lady Prevost a brig he afterwards 
reported her a schooner. Her commander, Captain Bar 
clay, the senior officer in the British fleet, was severely 
wounded. The captain of the Queen Charlotte was killed, 
and also the 1st lieutenant of the Detroit. 
After the battle, with fire arms, was over, 

"Another engagement took place it was a war of po 
liteness and humanity. The British officers refuse to re 
tain their swords, and the magnanimous Perry declines re 
ceiving them. They pass repeatedly back and forward be 
tween the two commodores. American generosity finally 
triumphs. The British officers are forced, by his over 
whelming kindness and humanity, to retain those very 
swords which his superior skill and bravery had compelled 
them to surrender. And as an additional mark of his lib 
erality, the commodore advanced them f 1,000 on his own 
account, to defray their expenses in travelling to such 
places as might be assigned them." 

Every exertion was also made to render the prisoners 
and wounded of the enemy, as comfortable in their cap 
tivity as our own troops. Such generous conduct made a 
lasting impression on the gratitude of the brave and gal 
lant Captain Barclay. 

On the day after the battle the funeral obsequies of the 
British and American officers, who had fajlen in the 
action, were performed in an appropriate and affecting 
manner. An opening on the margin of Put-in-Bay was 
selected for the interment of their remains. The crews of 
both fleets attended. The day was fine and pleasant. Na 
ture seemed hushed in silence, and a dead calm prevailed 


on the lake. The solemn looks of the officers and men, the 
procession boats keeping time with their oars to the solemn 
dirge that was playing, the mournful waving of the flags, 
the deep-toned peals of minute guns all together gave the 
scene a melancholy grandeur which may be felt, but can 
not be described How different from the scene of yester 
day. Now all united as brothers, to perform the last honors 
due to the departed brave of both Nations. Three Britons 
had fallen, Captain Finnis and Lieutenants Garland and 
Stockoe and two Americans, Lieutenant Brooks and Mid 
shipman Lamb. They lie 011 a lonely beach, where the 
future traveller will scarcely find their humble graves. 

The American people who delight to honor their brave 
and magnanimous defenders, bestowed many marks of their 
gratitude and admiration, on Commodore Perry and his 
brave associates. The following resolves were passed in 
Congress and carried into execution : 

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, 
That the thanks of Congress be, and the same are hereby 
presented to Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, and through 
him to the officers, petty officers, seamen, marines, and 
infantry, serving as such, attached to the squadron under 
his command, for the decisive and glorious victory gained 
on Lake Erie, on the 10th of September, in the year of 1813, 
over a British squadron of superior force. 

"Resolved, That the president of the United States be 
requested to cause gold medals to be struck, emblematic of 
the action between the two squadrons, and to be presented 
to Captain Perry and to Captain Jesse D. Elliott, in such 
manner as will be most agreeable to them; and that the 
President be further requested to present a silver medal, 
with suitable emblems and devices, to each of the commis 
sioned officers, either of the navy or army, and a sword to 
each of the midshipmen and sailing masters, who so nobly 
distinguished themselves on that day." 


This brilliant victory at once immortalized the heroes 
who achieved it, and opened Upper Canada to the American 
arms. The captured vessels were safely towed into Put 
in-Bay, the Lawrence was sent to Erie to be dismantled, 
and Commodore Perry was ready, after he had landed his 
prisoners at the mouth of Portage, to transport the north 
western army to Maiden. 



On the evening of the 16th of September, General 
M Arthur received orders at Port Meigs to embark the 
artillery, military stores and provisions at that place, in 
vessels which were sent from headquarters to receive them, 
and to march the regulars of the garrison across the coun 
try to the rendezvous at the mouth of Portage, preparatory 
to their embarkation with the rest of the army. He had 
already reduced Fort Meigs to a small post, in the upper 
corner of the old works, and quickly executed the orders 
for his removal. The remaining Kentuckians at that place, 
under General Clay, had determined to accompany General 
Harrison though their term of service had nearly expired ; 
and the general himself had particularly solicited the gov 
ernor for leave to accompany him, in case his men were not 
permitted to go. He now embarked with his suite, and a 
number of his men, in the transport vessels which had come 
for the stores. 

The mounted regiment under Colonel Johnson, which 
was now also at Fort Meigs, received orders from General 
Harrison to encamp under the guns of the fort and wait 
for further orders. The company of Captain Warfield had 
gone from Piqua with the governor s troops to Portage, and 
the captain had obtained permission from General Harri 
son for his company to cross with him to Canada. This 
circumstance connected with some others, and with the 



orders received from the general, produced much uneasi 
ness in the balance of the regiment, lest it might have been 
determined at headquarters, to leave them on this side of 
the lake. 

In concentrating his forces for the invasion of Canada, 
General Harrison had notified the Wyandot, Shawanee, 
and Seneca Indians near Upper Sandusky, that they would 
be received into his service; and about 260 had in conse 
quence joined him at Seneca and accompanied him to the 
point of embarkation, under their chiefs Lewis, Blackhoof, 
and Snake. The two regiments of Ohio militia, which had 
been left at Upper Sandusky, were subsequently discharged. 

In bringing down the military stores and provisions 
from the posts on the Sandusky River to the vessels in the 
lake, a short land carriage became necessary to expedite 
the embarkation. The peninsula formed by the Sandusky 
Bay on the right, and by Portage River and Lake Erie on 
the left, extended between fifteen and twenty miles from 
the anchorage of the shipping in the mouth of Portage, at 
which place the isthmus on which the army was encamped 
was less than two miles across from one river to the other. 
The boats have to travel upwards of forty miles, and to be 
exposed to the dangers of the lake navigation. It was 
therefore deemed the most safe and expeditious to trans 
port the stores and drag the boats across the isthmus, 
which was accomplished between the 15th and 20th of the 
month, whilst the army was detained in making other nec 
essary arrangements. 

The Kentucky troops were encamped across the narrow 
est part of the isthmus, above the place of embarkation-, 
and each regiment was ordered to construct a strong fence 
of brush and fallen timber in front of its encampment, 
which extended, when finished, from Portage to Sandusky 
River. Within this enclosure their horses were turned 


loose to graze on ample pastures of excellent grass. The 
preparations for the expedition being nearly completed, it 
became necessary to detail a guard to be left for the pro 
tection of the horses. The commandants of regiments were 
ordered by the governor to detach one twentieth part of 
their commands for this service; and Colonel Christopher 
Rife Avas designated as their commander. In furnishing 
the men, many of the colonels had to resort to a draft, as 
volunteers to stay on this side of the lake could not be ob 
tained. The Kentuckians had no constitutional scruples, 
about crossing the boundary line of the United States, and 
no greater insult could be offered to one of Shelby s volun 
teers, than to insinuate that he did not desire to cross into 

This, however, was not exactly the case with all the 
militia assembled at the mouth of Portage. When the 
order for embarking was issued, the gentlemen of the Penn 
sylvania regiment from Erie, were unfortunately seized 
with constitutional scruples. General Harrison personally 
addressed them, and requested the officers for the honor of 
their State, to endeavor to prevail on their men to embark. 
After making an attempt to persuade them, one of the 
captains returned to General Harrison, and observed in a 
pusillanimous tone 

"I believe the boys are not willing to go, general." 
Harrison eyed him with contempt and replied, "The 
boys, eh ! I believe some of the officers, too, are not willing 
to go. Thank God, I have Keutuckians enough to go with 
out you." 

However, about 150 of them were prevailed on to embark, 
under the lieutenant colonel and major, the commandant 
of the regiment being sick. 

On the 20th, General Harrison embarked with the regu 
lar troops under Generals M Arthur and Cass, and arrived 


the same day at Put-in-Bay, in Bass Island, about 10 miles 
distant from the point of embarkation. Next morning the 
governor sailed with a part of his troops, having ordered 
Major General Desha to remain at Portage and bring up 
the rear, which he performed with great alacrity and 
vigilance. On that and the succeeding day all the militia 
arrived at Bass Island. Colonel Rife was left in command 
at Portage, with Doctor Maguffin as his surgeon, and with 
instructions to pay particular attention to the bashful 
Pennsylvanians, who ought for their backwardness to be 
disowned by their State. The whole army remained on Bass 
Island on the 24th, waiting for the arrival of all the nec 
essary stores and provisions at that place. The winds and 
the weather were as favorable for this movement as Heaven 
could make them. It seemed as if all the elements had 
conspired to favor the expedition. The felicity of the troops 
in this respect was the subject of general remark, and 
indeed the finest season had been enjoyed for all the pre 
liminary movements and preparations. 

During the stay of the army at this place, the Ken- 
tuckians left by General Clay at Fort Meigs arrived at 
headquarters to join the expedition. Their services not 
being wanted, they were here discharged and returned 
home, except the general, Major Dudley and a few others, 
who proceeded with the army as far as Sandwich. Some 
of the Pennsylvanians, who had ventured as far as this 
island, were now permitted to indulge their scruples and 
retire also from the service ; the others continued as far as 

On the 25th, the whole army moved to the Middle Sister, 
a small island containing about five or six acres of ground, 
which was now crowded with men, having about four thou 
sand five hundred upon it. Whilst the transport vessels 
were bringing up the military stores and provisions on the 


26th, General Harrison sailed with Commodore Perry in 
the Ariel, to reconnoitre off Maiden, and ascertain a suit 
able point on the lake shore for the debarkation of his 
troops. They came in view of Amherstburg, but could not 
examine the fort, the position of which was on the river 
above the town, by which it was concealed from their sight. 
The blockhouse on Bare Point, three miles below Maiden, 
had been destroyed. A dead silence and tranquillity pre 
vailed along the coast, and the inhabitants appeared to 
view the reconnoitering vessels with extreme indifference. 
These circumstances induced the general to suspect that 
the enemy had made arrangements to surprise him in the 
act of landing the forces, or possibly that he might have 
destroyed his works and retreated. The army, however, 
approached the shore on a subsequent day in full expecta 
tion that the enemy would meet them on their landing. 

Late in the evening the general returned to the army on 
the Middle Sister. The following general order was now 
issued, prescribing the order of debarkation, of march, and 
of battle: 

"As it is the intention of the general to land the army 
on the enemy s coast, the following will be the order of de 
barkation, of march, and of battle. The right wing of the 
army will be composed of the Kentucky volunteers under 
command of his excellency, Governor Shelby, acting as 
major general the left wing, of the light corps of Lieuten 
ant Colonel Ball, and the brigades of Generals M Arthur 
and Cass. This arrangement is made with a view to the 
localities of the ground, on which the troops will have to 
act, and the composition of the enemy s force, and is cal 
culated in marching up the lake or strait, to place the 
regular troops in the open ground on the lake, where it is 
probable they will be opposed by British regulars, and the 
Kentucky volunteers in the woods, which probably will be 
occupied by the enemy s militia and Indians. When the 
signal is given for putting to shore the corps of Lieutenant 


Colonel Ball M ill precede the left wing, and the regiment 
of volunteer riflemen under Colonel Simrall the right wing. 
These corps will land with the utmost celerity consistent 
with the preservation of good order, and as soon as landed, 
will seize the most favorable position for annoying the 
enemy, and covering the debarkation of the troops of the 
line. General Cass brigade will follow Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ball s corps, and General Calmes the regiment of Colonel 
Simrall. The other regiments will follow and form in suc 
cession after those which precede them, the right wing with 
its right in front deploying to the left. The brigades of 
Generals King, Allen, and Caldwell, will form successively 
to the right of General Calmes. The brigades of Generals 
M Arthur and Chiles will form the reserve, under the im 
mediate command of General M Arthur. The general will 
command in person the brigades of Cass and Calmes, as 
sisted by Major General Henry. His excellency, Governor 
Shelby, will have the immediate command of the three 
brigades on the right, assisted by Major General Desha. As 
soon as the troops disembark, the boats are to be immedi 
ately sent back to the fleet. It will be observed that the 
order of landing here prescribed is somewhat that of direct 
echelon, deployed into line upon the advanced corps of the 
right and left wings. It is the intention of the general, 
however, that all the troops which are provided with boats, 
should land in as quick succession as possible; and the gen 
eral officers commanding towards the extremities of the 
line are authorized to deviate from this arrangement, to 
counteract any movement of the enemy, by landing any 
parts of their commands previous to the forming of the 
corps which are herein directed to precede them. The 
corps of Lieutenant-Colonel Ball, and the volunteer regi 
ment of Colonel Simrall will maintain the position they 
occupy on landing, until the troops of the line are formed 
to support them; they will then retire through the- intervals 
of the line, or to the flanks and form in the rear of the line. 
A detachment of artillery with a six-pounder, four-pounder 
and howitzer, will land with the advanced light corps. The 
rest of the artillery will be held in reserve and lauded at 
such points as Major Wood may direct. The point of 


landing for the reserve under Brigadier General M Arthur 
cannot now be designated. It will be made to support any 
part of the line which may require aid, or be formed on the 
flanks as circumstances may require. The arrangements 
for landing the troops will be made entirely under the 
direction of an officer of the navy, whom Commodore Perry 
has been so obliging as to furnish for that purpose. The 
debarkation of the troops will be covered by the cannon of 
the vessels. The troops being landed and the enemy driven 
off, or not opposing the landing, the army will change its 
front to the left, and form in order of battle in the follow 
ing manner : The two brigades of regular troops, and two 
of the volunteers, to be formed in two lines at right angles 
to the shore of the lake. The brigades of Generals M Arthur 
and Calmes to form the front line, and those of Cass and 
Chiles the second line, the regular troops still on the left, 
and that flank resting on the lake shore. The distance be 
tween the two lines will be three hundred yards. The 
remaining three volunteer brigades will be drawn up in a 
single line of two ranks, at right angles to the lines in 
front, its head on the right on the right of the front line, 
forming a crotchet en potence with that line, and extending 
beyond the second line. The corps of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ball will form the advance of the left wing at the same dis 
tance of 300 yards, and Colonel SimralPs regiment that of 
the right wing at the same distance. Some light pieces of 
artillery will be placed in the road leading up the lake, and 
at such other points as Major Wood may direct. When the 
order is given for marching, the first and second line will 
advance by files from the heads of companies, or in other 
words those two lines will form two columns marching 
their flanks by companies at entire distances. The three 
brigades on the right flank will be faced to the left and 
marched forward, the head of this column still forming en 
potence with the front line. It is probable that the two 
brigades of the front line will extend from the lake some 
distance into the woods on the right flank, and it is desir 
able that it should be so : but should it be otherwise, and 
the crotchet or angle be at any time in the open ground, 
Governor Shelby will immediately extend the front line to 


the right by adding to it as many companies of the leading 
brigade of the flank column, as will bring the angle, and 
consequently the left column itself completely within the 
woods. It is to be presumed that the enemy will make their 
attack upon the army on its march, that their regular 
troops will form their right upon the lake, their militia 
occupy the ground between their regulars and the woods, 
and that the Indians will make a flank attack from the 
woods. The formation herein prescribed is intended to re 
sist an arrangement of this kind. Should the general s 
conjecture on this subject prove correct, as it must be 
evident that the right of the enemy cannot be turned, as on 
that wing the best of his troops will be placed, it will be 
proper to refuse him our left, and direct our principal effort 
to uncover the left flank of Ids regulars, by driving off the 
militia. In the event here supposed, it will therefore be 
proper to bring up a part, or the whole, of General Cass s 
brigade, to assist the charge to be made by General Calmes, 
or that the former should change positions with the brigade 
of volunteers in the second line. Should the general think 
it safe to order the whole of Cass brigade to assist the 
charge to be made by General Calmes, or that the former 
should change positions with the volunteers in the second 
line, or should the general think it safe to order the whole 
of Cass brigade to the right, without replacing it with 
another, General Cass will march it to the right, formed in 
oblique echelons of companies. It will be the business of 
General M Arthur, in the event of his wing being refused, 
to watch the motions of the enemy, and with the assistance 
of the artillery, prevent his front line at least from inter 
cepting the progress of our right. Should the enemy s 
militia be defeated, the brigade of ours in advance, will 
immediately wheel upon the flank of the British regulars, 
and General M ? Arthur will then advance and attack them 
in front. In the meantime his excellency, Governor Shelby, 
can use the brigade in reserve of the second line, to extend 
the flank line from its front or left, or to reinforce any 
weak part of the line. In all cases where troops in advance 
are obliged to retire through those which are advancing to 
support them, it will be done by companies in files, which 


will retire through the intervals of the advancing line, and 
immediately form in the rear. The light troops will be 
particularly governed by this direction. The disposition 
of the troops in the right flank, is such as the commanding 
general thinks best calculated to resist an attack from the 
Indians, which is only to be expected from that quarter. 
His excellency, Governor Shelby, will, however, use his 
discretion in making any alteration which his experience 
and judgment may dictate. 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Ball, Colonel Simrall, and the 
officers commanding on the flank line, are to send out small 
detachments in advance of the two former corps, and to 
the flank of the latter. Should they discover the enemy in 
force, immediate notice will be sent to the lines. The gen 
eral commanding on the spot, will immediately order the 
signal for forming in order of battle, which is the beat, to 
arms. All signals will be immediately repeated by all the 
drums of the line. The signal for the whole to halt is, the 
retreat. Drums will be distributed along the line at the 
heads of companies, and taps occasionally be given to regu 
late their march. Lieutenant-Colonels Ball and Simrall 
are to keep the general constantly informed of the dis 
coveries made by the advanced parties, and when it shall 
become necessary for their corps to retire, they will form 
on the flank, or in the rear of Generals M Arthur and 
Calmes brigades, and receive the orders of their brigadiers 

"William Henry Harrison." 

Such were the directions given for the debarkation, the 
marching, and the fighting of the troops ; in which we find 
all that lucid minuteness, so necessary in the orders given 
to an army composed emphatically of raw troops, and 
whose officers in general were but little superior in the 
knowledge of tactics to the men they commanded. After 
this perspicuous development, however, of the operations 
to be performed, the debarkation was subsequently effected 
with surprising celerity and good order, not indeed under 


the opposition of a hostile force, but in the momentary 
expectation of an attack. 

On Monday, the 27th, the whole army was embarked 
early in the day, and set sail from the Middle Sister for the 
Canada shore, General Harrison, having previously circu 
lated a general order among the troops, in which he ex 
horted them to remember the fame of their ancestors, and 
the justice of the cause in which they were engaged. To 
the Kentuckians he said : 

"Remember the river Raisin; but remember it only, 
whilst victory is suspended. The revenge of a soldier can 
not be gratified on a fallen enemy." 

The winds were propitious, and the whole army ap 
proached the shore, in an oblique direction, and in good 
order, aiming to land in an open field about four miles be 
low Maiden. The signal to land was given, and the whole 
flotilla in succession pulled to shore in elegant style. Not 
an enemy was to be seen. Some Indians had made their 
appearance on the coast a few minutes before, but the fire 
of the fleet had driven them off. It was about three o clock 
in the evening when the army landed ; the line of march was 
soon formed, and in less than two hours the advanced corps 
under Ball and Simrall arrived at the Ruins of Maiden. 
The whole army came up, the American flag was hoisted, 
and possession was taken of the town of Amherstburg. 
General Procter had burnt the fort and navy yards and re 
treated up to Sandwich, under the impression that there 
were at least ten thousand Kentuckians coming against 

Immediately after the capture of the fleet, General 
Proctor had sent spies to reconnoitre the forces of General 
Harrison. They had viewed the Kentuckians, while en 
camped on the plains of Sandusky, and had reported their 


number to General Proctor, as being from ten to fifteen 
thousand men. This information had determined him to 
burn Maiden and make his escape by retreating up the 
rivers Detroit and Thames, and pursuing the back route 
to the lower parts of the province. No doubt his guilty 
fears, lest he should fall into the hands of men, whose 
friends he had suffered to be massacred by the savages, had 
also much influence on his mind in bringing it to this de 
termination. It is only from such fears, and from his mis 
conception of our force, that we can account for his con 
duct, for the army of regulars, militia, and Indians, which 
it was in his power 10 have concentrated against us, was 
nearly equal to all the forces of General Harrison ; and the 
country above Maiden abounded with provisions for their 
support. The inhabitants were probably not very willing 
to contribute their substance or the sustenance of the In 
dians, but General Proctor had the power and it was his 
duty to collect adequate supplies as long as the country 
could furnish them; and on the 13th he had proclaimed 
martial law, to 

"Take effect as far as supplying the wants of the troops 
under his command, or the sending away or apprehending 
all traitorous or disaffected persons might render it ex 

To supply the great assemblage of Indians at that place, 
however, consisting of warriors, squaws, and children, was 
by no means an easy task. Before the retreat 15,000 rations 
were issued daily a fact which proves that Proctor had a 
very powerful auxiliary force of Indians. 

As soon as he had ascertained the loss of the fleet, he 
had commenced his preparations for retreating. About the 
time martial law was proclaimed, he had embarked a con 
siderable quantity of military stores in boats, and sent 
them up to Sandwich. On the 17th, he had given orders to 


collect and bring away all the cattle and provisions on the 
coast below Maiden. He now kept his headquarters at 
Sandwich, having left Colonel Warburton in command of 
Maiden, to whom he gave orders on the 20th to destroy the 
public property and buildings, and retreat to Sandwich, 
but in the indecisive confusion of a guilty mind, the execu 
tion of this order was again suspended, till the morning of 
the 26th, when the place, being finally evacuated, was at 
length destroyed. 

General Tecumseh, whose conscience could not accuse 
him of so many crimes, and whose Indian heroism knew 
how to endure their consequences, was entirely opposed to 
the retreating measures of General Proctor. On the 18th 
of September, in the name of all the Indian chiefs and 
warriors, he addressed the following speech to General 
Proctor, as the representative of their great father, the 

"Father, listen to your children! You have them now 
all before you. 

"The war before this, our British father gave the 
hatchet to his red children, when our old chiefs were alive. 
They are now dead. In that war, our father was thrown on 
his back by the Americans, and our father took them by the 
hand without our knowledge; and we are afraid that our 
father will do so again at this time. 

"Summer before last, when I came forward with my 
red brethren, and was ready to take up the hatchet in favor 
of our British father, we were told not to be in a hurry, 
that he had not yet determined to fight the Americans. 

"Listen! When war was declared, our father stood up 
and gave us the tomahawk and told us that he was then 
ready to strike the American ; that he wanted our assist 
ance; and that he would certainly get us our lands back, 
which the Americans had taken from us. 

"Listen! You told us, at that time, to bring forward 
our families to this place, and we did so ; and you promised 
to take care of them, and they should want for nothing, 


while the men would go and fight the enemy ; that we need 
not trouble ourselves about the enemy s garrisons ; that we 
knew nothing about them, and that our father would 
attend to that part of the business. You also told your 
red children that you would take good care of your garrison 
here, which made our hearts glad. 

"Listen! When we were last at the Rapids it is true 
we gave you little assistance. It is hard to fight people who 
live like ground-hogs. 

"Father, listen! Our fleet has gone out; we know they 
have fought; we have heard the great guns, but we know 
nothing of what happened to our father with that army. 
Our ships have gone one way, and we are much astonished 
to see our father tying up everything and preparing to run 
away the other, without letting his red children know what 
his intentions are. You always told us to remain here and 
take care of our lands ; it made our hearts glad to hear that 
was your wish. Our great father, the king, is the head, and 
you represent him. You always told us that you would 
never draw your foot off British ground, but now, father, 
we see you are drawing back, and we are sorry to see our 
father doing so without seeing the enemy. We must com 
pare our father s conduct to a fat dog, that carries its tail 
upon its back, but when affrighted, it drops it between its 
legs and runs off. 

"Father, listen ! The Americans have not yet defeated 
us by land ; neither are we sure that they have done so by 
water; we therefore wish to remain here and fight our 
enemy, should they make their appearance. If they defeat 
us, we will then retreat with our father. 

"At the battle of the Rapids, last war, the Americans 
certainly defeated us, and when we retreated to our father s 
fort at that place, the gates were shut against us. We were 
afraid that it would now be the case, but instead of that, 
we now see our British father preparing to march out of 
his garrison. 

"Father! You have got the arms and ammunition 
which our great father sent for his red children. If you 
have an idea of going away, give them to us, and you may 
go and welcome for us. Our lives are in the hands of the 


Great Spirit. We are determined to defend our lands, and 
if it be his will, we wish to leave our bones upon them." 

Had Proctor followed the advice of Tecumseh, and 
fought the American forces before he retreated, the result 
must have been more glorious at least, if not entirely favor 
able, to the British arms. 

On the night of the 27th, the American forces encamped 
round the ruins of Maiden, their general having determined 
to pursue the enemy in the morning. In a letter to the war 
department, written on the evening of the 27th, he says : 

"I will pursue the enemy tomorrow, although there is 
no probability of overtaking him, as he has upwards of 
1,000 horses, and we have not one in the army. I shall 
think myself fortunate to collect a sufficiency to mount the 
general officers. It is supposed here, that General Proctor 
will establish himself upon the river Trench, or Thames, 
40 miles from Maiden." 

Proctor had pressed into his service all the horses of the 
inhabitants, which they had not effectually concealed. One 
only, and that a very indifferent one, could now be pro 
cured. On it the venerable governor of Kentucky was 
mounted, and proceeded with the army towards Sandwich, 
where they arrived on the 29th, without meeting any ob 
struction from the enemy, except that the bridge over the 
Aux Canards River had been torn up, but was soon re 
paired again. There had been considerable expectation 
among the commanding officers, that a formidable resist 
ance would be made at this bridge, but no enemy was to be 
seen ; and on arriving at Sandwich, it was ascertained that 
General Procter had retreated from that place early on the 
preceding day. The Indians, however, were in considerable 
force in the suburbs of Detroit, the inhabitants of which, 
who liad already been very much plundered, were in great 
apprehension of an immediate massacre, but a few dis- 


charges of grape shot from the fleet, which had come up the 
river, soon compelled them to fly to the woods for safety. 
General M Arthur went over with his brigade and took 
possession of the town, and the same evening General Har 
rison issued his proclamation for re-establishing the civil 
government of the territory. All persons who had been in 
office at the time of the capitulation, were directed to re 
sume their functions, and administer the laws which had 
then been in force. 

On the 30th, which was a very wet day, the troops con 
tinued in Sandwich. The few inhabitants who remained in 
the town were requested to drive in beef cattle for the sub 
sistence of the army, and being informed that if this was 
not done, foraging parties must be sent into the country, 
who would probably commit depredations on the people, 
which it was the wish of the general to prevent, they com 
plied and brought in a plentiful supply. Complaints, how 
ever, were made to Governor Shelby, by some of the citi 
zens, that his soldiers had in some instances violated their 
property, upon which the following general order was 
issued, which effectually checked such misconduct. It is 
preserved in this place as a precedent for the benefit of 
British commanders : 

"The coniinander-in-chief of the Kentucky volunteers 
had heard with extreme regret, that depredations have been 
committed upon the property of the inhabitants of this 
town, by some of the troops under his command. He did 
not expect that it would ever be necessary for him to ad 
monish citizens, who are proud in the enjoyment of prop 
erty at home, of the impropriety of wantonly injuring that 
of others. Violations of this kind, whilst th^^ disgrace the 
individuals who are guilty of them, will tend to injure the 
character of the army, and detract from the merit which 
the success of the present campaign would entitle them to 
claim. While the army remains in this country, it is 
expected that the inhabitants will be treated with justice 


and humanity, and their property secured from unneces 
sary and wanton injury. The commander-in-chief of the 
Kentucky volunteers enjoins it upon the officers of every 
grade, to use their exertions to prevent injury from being 
done to the private property of the inhabitants. He is 
determined to punish, with the utmost rigor of martial law, 
any one who shall be guilty of such violation." 

The inhabitants of Canada had fled from their houses 
and hid their property, on the approach of the American 
army, fully expecting that the Kentuckians, like the Brit 
ish, would plunder and massacre all before them, but they 
found themselves very happily disappointed in these ex 

We have now arrived at a point, where it becomes nec 
essary to advert to the advance of the mounted regiment 
under Colonel Johnson, which now became an important 
corps in the operations of the army. 

We left the mounted regiment encamped at Fort Meigs 
about the middle of September, very uneasy lest they 
should not have an opportunity of participating in the 
perils and glories of the campaign. On the 20th, Lieutenant 
Griffith, who had been sent with a scouting party to the 
river Raisin, returned to camp with an Indian prisoner 
called MisselemetaAv, who was a chief counsellor to Tecuni- 
seh, and uncle to the celebrated Logan, but a man of very 
different principles and conduct. He had been the leader 
of the Indians at the massacre of the Pigeon Roost in the 
Indiana territory. Griffith had caught him asleep in a 
house at the river Raisin. He told Colonel Johnson that 
the Indians had been watching the movements of his army, 
had examined his encampments, and seen him arrive at 
Fort Meigs; and that they estimated his forces to be at 
least 2,400. He further stated that the Indians about 
Brownstown, amounting to 1,750 warriors, had determined 
to give him battle at tbe river Huron and that they were 


still ignorant of the fate of the British fleet. He was an 
Indian of excellent information, and had been the constant 
companion and friend of Tecumseh. Being under the im 
pression that he would now certainly have to die, he gave 
Colonel Johnson a long and apparently very candid ac 
count of past transactions, since the treaty of Greenville to 
the present day. He said the British had supplied the 
Prophet s party with arms and ammunition before the bat 
tle of Tippecanoe; that Tecumseh s plan for a common 
property in their lands had been strongly recommended 
and praised by Colonel Elliott; and that the British had 
used every means in their power, since the year 1809, to se 
cure the friendship and aid of the Indians, in the event of a 
Avar with the United States having often invited them to 
Maiden and made them presents for that purpose ; and hav 
ing also represented to them that they would receive Brit 
ish aid to drive the Americans over the Ohio River, after 
which they should live in the houses of the inhabitants and 
have their daughters for wives. He said he was now con 
vinced that the British had again deceived them, and that 
the Great Spirit had forsaken him in his old age for his 
cruelty and wickedness. 

Captain Coleman, who had been sent to headquarters 
to ascertain the destination of the regiment, now returned 
to camp, having left the army on its way from Bass Island 
to the Middle Sister. He brought information from the 
general that the regiment would certainly be called upon in 
a few days to co-operate with the army in the direction of 
Detroit. This news, together with the probability of hav 
ing a brush with the Indians at least, once more raised the 
hopes and animated the spirits of the men. 

On the evening of the 25th, orders were received by 
express from General Harrison, for the regiment to march 
immediately to the river Raisin , as it was probable the 


army would land the next day on the Canada shore. Early 
next morning the regiment marched, fully expecting that 
they would have to encounter a strong Indian force in the 
neighborhood of Brownstown. The colonel took with him 
from Fort Meigs four light pieces of artillery, which he 
placed under the command of Captains E. Craig, Turner, 
Gist, and Sandford, each with a command of 10 men. On 
the second day they reached the river Raisin. Frenchtown 
was generally abandoned, only a few French families re 
maining in it. The fine orchards of peach and apple trees 
were loaded with excellent fruit. 

The bones of the massacred Kentuckians were scattered 
over the plains for three miles on this side of the river. 
The detachment which had visited that place under Colonel 
Johnson in June, had collected and buried a great many of 
them, but they were now torn up and scattered over the 
fields again. The sight had a powerful effect on the feel 
ings of the men. The Avounds inflicted by that barbarous 
transaction were again torn open. The bleaching bones 
still appealed to heaven, and called on Kentucky to avenge 
this outrage on humanity. We had heard the scene de 
scribed before we now witnessed it, in these impressive 
memorials. The feelings they excited cannot be described 
by me but they will never be forgotten nor while there is 
a recording angel in heaven, or a historian upon earth, will 
the tragedy of the river Raisin be suffered to sink into 
oblivion. Future generations will often ponder on this 
fatal field of blood, and the future inhabitants of French- 
town will long point out to the curious traveller, the garden 
where the intrepid Madison for several hours maintained 
the unequal contest of four to one, and repulsed the bloody 
Proctor in every charge. Yonder is the wood, where the 
gallant Allen fell! Here the accomplished Hart and 
Woodfolk were butchered ! There the brave Hickinan was 


tomahawked and thrown into the flames! That is the spot 
where the lofty Simpson breathed his last ! And a little 
farther Doctors Montgomery, Davis and M lllvain, amia 
ble in their manners and profound in science, fell in youth 
and left the sick to mourn their loss ! The gallant Meacte 
fell on the bank in battle, but his magnanimous Lieutenant 
Graves, was reserved for massacre; for a massacre per 
petrated by savages under the influence of British a 
nation impiously styled "the bulwark of our religion." 

At this place an express arrived from the main army, 
which he had left on the Middle Sister on the morning of 
the 26th. He was sent while Harrison was reconnoitering 
off Maiden, by the attentive and prudent governor of Ken 
tucky, to apprise Colonel Johnson of the progress and pros 
pects of the army, that he might regulate his march accord 
ingly. Next morning, before the regiment marched, their 
faithful guide, Anthony Shane, of the Shawnee tribe, ob 
served that he knew the spot where Captain Simpson had 
been killed. The colonels, with Captain M Afee and Doc 
tor Ewing, went with him to the place, and found the bones, 
which they buried. The frame of Captain Simpson was 
easily known from the others by its length, the captain hav 
ing been upwards of six feet and a half high. A detach 
ment of 100 men was now sent in advance to the river 
Huron, to throw a bridge over that stream for the passage 
of the troops, who arrived, and partly crossed it in the 
evening; and the balance, with the baggage wagons and 
artillery, crossed in the morning, on the floating bridge 
which had been prepared for them. Soon after the passage 
of this river, an express arrived from General Harrison, 
with information that the enemy had burned Maiden and 
fled up the river Detroit, and that the army had reached 
the Petit Cote settlement in full pursuit. This news put 
the regiment at half speed, which was continued all day. 


They passed through Brownstown, now evacuated, and the 
Magauga village, from both of which the Indians had fled, 
and had likewise deserted all their huts on the Detroit 
river. Arriving at the river De Corce, they found there a 
part of the company of Captain Warfield, which had been 
sent over by the general to repair the bridge. The Indians 
had formed an ambuscade at this place, behind a long row 
of pickets on the opposite side of the river, where they had 
waited for the regiment all the preceding night, in the ex 
pectation that Colonel Johnson would march by night into 
Detroit. Disappointed in this, they had retired. Captain 
Warfield had brought boats to take up the artillery by 
water, with a view to expedite the march ; but on consulta 
tion the colonel determined to keep them with him, as they 
were not much encumbrance. At the river Rouge the regi 
ment encamped, and after dark received intelligence, that 
500 Potawatamies were lying about six miles up that river. 
While the officers were onsulting on the propriety of at 
tacking them, Major Trigg arrived with a reinforcement of 
four companies of regulars and one of militia, from head 
quarters at Sandwich, where some uneasiness had been felt 
for the safety of the regiment. In consequence of the infor 
mation brought by Major Trigg, the project of attacking 
the Indians was dropped, and some apprehension was felt, 
that an attack would be made by them in the night. This, 
however, did not happen; but while the troops were cross 
ing the river in the morning, a Frenchman came down and 
stated, that a party of Indians were crossing above, for the 
purpose of giving them battle. The battalion of Major 
Trigg, and the volunteers who had crossed, were immediate 
ly formed in front to cover the passage of the balance. No 
attack, however, was made, and the whole detachment 
arrived in Detroit, before 12 o clock on that day, which was 
the last of September. 


When General Harrison saw the regiment passing up 
to Detroit, he sent Major Charles S. Todd with orders 
for them to cross as soon as possible to Sandwich. As the 
men had not dismounted when he arrived, they marched 
down to the river immediately, but no boats could be pro 
cured to carry them over. They returned and encamped, 
while Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson went over to procure 
boats. Late in the evening he returned with a few, having 
made arrangements for procuring others in the morning. 

On the 1st of October, Governor Shelby went, a little 
after daylight, to the quarters of General Harrison, in pur 
suance of an appointment to consult with him respecting 
the further pursuit of the enemy. He found the general 
alone, and directly mentioned the appointed subject of con 
sultation. The general, as if his mind was entirely occu 
pied with it, immediately replied we must not be heard ; 
and led the governor into a private room, into which he 
had directed his aides to conduct him. Here they soon 
came to the conclusion, that Proctor might be overtaken 
in three or four days of hard marching; and it was deter 
mined not to lose a moment in preparing for the pursuit. 
The governor was requested to collect his general officers 
at headquarters in the course of an hour, that their opin 
ions might be taken on the occasion. They were convened 
accordingly at the room of the general ; and he there stated 
his design of pursuing the enemy, observing that there were 
but two ways of doing it one of which was to follow him 
up the strait by land the other, to embark and sail down 
Lake Erie to Long Point, then march hastily across by land 
twelve miles to the road and intercept him. 

"But the governor thinks, and so do I, that the best way 
will be to pursue the enemy up the strait by land." 

The general officers unanimously concurred in the same 
opinion, together with General Adair, first aide to the gov- 


ernor, who had been invited to the council. I have been 
thus particular in stating the facts, relative to the deter 
mination to pursue the enemy, because it has been reported 
and believed, that General Harrison never would have pur 
sued farther than Sandwich, had it not been for Governor 
Shelby, and that he differed with the governor, respecting 
the route to be taken; but the fact is, there never was a 
difference of opinion between them, neither on the pro 
priety of the pursuit nor the manner of performing it. 
The determination and preparations of the general to pur 
sue, had never been suspended; and the chief object of the 
councils was to obtain the approbation of the governor and 
general officers for the route he preferred. 

Colonel Johnson having been ordered to bring over his 
regiment with the greatest dispatch, Governor Shelby went 
over immediately after the council, to communicate the re 
sult to the colonel, and apprise him of General Harrison s 
determination to pursue the enemy next day. Every pos 
sible exertion was made by Colonel Johnson and his officers 
to get over the river, but they were so obstructed by the 
wind and waves, that the whole of their men and horses 
were not gotten over till late in the evening. The march 
ing of the army, however, had been unavoidably delayed 
till next day by other causes. 

It was necessary that a considerable detachment should 
be left at Detroit, to protect the citizens of Michigan from 
the depredations of the Indians, with which General Proc 
tor had threatened them before his retreat. It was ascer 
tained that Five-medal, Maipock, and other chiefs, had re 
mained on the west side of the Detroit river, with the 
Miamies, and a large portion of the Potawatamies, and of 
some other tribes. General M Arthur s brigade was, there 
fore, left at Detroit to keep them in check ; and its place 
in the line was supplied by that of General Calnies, .now 


commanded by Colonel Trotter, in consequence of the indis 
position of the general. The brigade of General King took 
the place vacated by that under Trotter. The corps of Col 
onel Ball was attached to the command of General Cass. 
The mounted regiment formed the front guard, with in 
structions to cover the whole front of the army, with small 
parties one mile in advance, and at least half that distance 
on the right flank. Colonel Simrall s regiment constituted 
the rear guard. Such were the arrangements made for an 
early march on the morning of the 2nd of October, the bag 
gage, provisions and ammunition wagons in the meantime 
being sent up the river in several vessels of the fleet. 

At sunrise on the 2nd, the foot troops were in motion, 
except the brigade of General Cass, who had to wait for 
their knapsacks and blankets, which had been left at the 
Middle Sister, with a view to disencumber these troops for 
the expected contest at the point of debarkation. A vessel 
had been sent back for them, but she had not yet arrived. 
The mounted regiment was also detained awhile, drawing 
provisions; but General Harrison halted the foot troops 
about twelve miles in advance, whilst the mounted men 
came up and took their place in front, in which order the 
army pushed forward, the governor frequently observing. 

"If we desire to overtake the enemy, we must do more 
than he does by early and forced marches." 

The bridges across the ravines and creeks which empty 
into Lake St. Clair, had all been left unimpaired, which 
seemed to prove that the enemy did not expect to be pursued 
on that route. About twenty miles up the road, six 
British deserters met the regiment of mounted men, who 
said they had left Proctor with his army about fifteen miles 
up the Thames, at 1 :00 o clock on the preceding day, and 
that he had between 600 and 700 regulars, some dragoons, 
and about 1,200 Indians. This information infused new 


life into the troops, and they pushed on with increased 
ardor till dark, having traveled about twenty-five miles the 
first day. On the 2nd day of the pursuit, an early and 
forced march was made, which soon brought the army to 
the mouth of the river Thames, below which a small party 
of dragoons were discovered by the spies under Major Sag- 
gett, who pursued and captured them, together with a 
lieutenant and eight privates of the infantry, who had just 
begun to destroy a bridge over a creek, a small distance 
above the mouth of the river. Captain Berry, of the spies, 
made five of them surrender, and bring back their boat, 
after they had crossed the Thames. All the men were cap 
tured, but one of the horses belonging to the dragoons made 
his escape and went up to the British army, from which 
circumstance General Proctor received the first hint of the 
near approach of his enemy. This little affair, the first 
fruits of the.pursuit, had a very great effect in animating 
the pursuers. 

The campaign was not without auspicious omens, which 
in the superstitious times of ancient history, would have 
had a more powerful effect on the minds of both officers 
and men, than the circumstance of capturing a small de 
tachment of the enemy. When the army arrived at the 
mouth of the Thames, an eagle was seen hovering over it, 
which General Harrison observed was a presage of success, 
as it was our military bird. Commodore Perry, who had 
condescended to act as volunteer aide to the general, re 
marked that a similar circumstance had occurred to the 
fleet, on the morning of the 10th of September. 

There was another singular occurrence in the animal 
creation. A sow shoat had followed a company of mounted 
volunteers from the interior of Kentucky. As she kept 
constantly with the army, she became generally known to 
the soldiers, who called her the governor s pig, and were 


careful to protect her, as they deemed her conduct an aus 
picious omen. At the margin of the lake she embarked 
with the troops and went as far as Bass Island. She was 
there offered a passage into Canada, but obstinately re 
fused to embark the second time. Some of the men attrib 
uted her conduct to constitutional scruples, and observed 
that she knew it was contrary to the constitution to force 
a militia pig over the line. In consequence of this remark, 
they gave her leave to stay, and return to the regiment 
at Portage. 

About 250 yards above the first bridge, where the little 
party of infantry was taken, there was another bridge, of 
which the front guard took possession, and in a few min 
utes were informed by a guide, on whom the general re 
lied for information respecting the country, that he had 
discovered a party of British and Indians coming dow r n 
to the bridge. The mounted regiment immediately formed 
in order of battle, but no enemy appeared, and the bridge 
being repaired by the infantry, the army passed over and 
proceeded on their march. The vessels with the baggage 
had kept up with the army, and now crossed the bar at 
the mouth of the Thames, and sailed up that river. In 
passing the bridge, the mounted regiment was thrown in 
the rear, in which place it continued a few miles, till the 
spies in front were fired on by a few dragoons of the enemy. 
The regiment was then ordered by General Harrison to the 
front, with instructions to march briskly, but to be careful 
not to fall into an ambuscade. For several miles the 
dragoons continued to skirmish with the front guard, till 
night came on, and the army encamped about ten miles 
from the mouth of the Thames. Next morning the march 
was resumed at daylight in full confidence that the enemy 
would be overtaken on that day. The order of inarch was 
altered in some respects. The front guard and foot troops 


were permitted to march in the road near the river, while 
the balance of the mounted regiment marched about a mile 
distant on the right flank, in a succession of prairies, which 
ran parallell to the river. Some skirmishing presently oc 
curred between the spies, and the rear parties of the Brit 
ish ; the mounted regiment several times formed the line of 
battle, and while in this situation a Canadian woman came 
to the front line, and informed Lieutenant-Colonel 
Johnson, that the main body of the Indians were at the 
forks of the river, about three miles in advance, where she 
supposed they intended to give us battle. The march was 
resumed, and the skirmishing continued, till the spies 
reached the bridge at the fork of the river. The planks 
had been torn off the bridge, and some of the spies having 
attempted to cross on the naked sills, a heavy fire was 
opened upon them from an adjacent wood, and from the 
opposite bank of the main river. Major Wood was ordered 
up, with two 6-pounders, and the foot troops began to form 
the line of battle, as it was expected that an obstinate 
resistance would be made at this place. 

The fork on the right, which the army had to cross, is 
much the smallest stream. There were two bridges over 
it, one at the mouth, and the other about a mile higher up. 
The Indians were posted in the fork near the lower bridge, 
with their left wing extending to the upper bridge; and 
also on the opposite side of the main stream. While the 
army was forming, and the artillery was playing on the 
Indians at the mouth of the river, Colonel Johnson was 
directed to secure the bridge above. He brought up his 
troops in order of battle to that place, and had a warm 
skirmish with the Indians across the stream. They soon 
fled, however, from all points, having previously torn off 
the planks of the bridge, and set fire to McGregor s mill, 
which was near it. The regiment lost two men killed, 


and six or seven wounded among the latter were Captain 
Craig and Lieutenant Griffith. The Indians had thirteen 
killed and a considerable number wounded. Nor was this 
all the loss their ranks sustained on this day. The Wyan- 
dot chief, Walk-in-the- Water, had left them in the morn 
ing with sixty of his warriors. He had visited General 
Harrison on the preceding day with a flag, desiring to 
make peace. The general told him he had no time to make 
treaties, and that if he wanted peace he must abandon 
Tecumseh, and get out of the way of the American army, 
and with these terms he had hastened to comply. 

The bridges were soon repaired, the lower one under the 
immediate superintendence of the governor and General 
Cass, and the other under the direction of Lieutenant-Col 
onel Johnson ; and in two hours from the time the skirmish 
commenced, the whole army had crossed. About half a 
mile above the forks, the British had set fire to a schooner 
freighted with military stores and a house just below it 
was saved from the flames, in which there were nearly a 
thousand stand of arms. After marching about five miles 
farther, our troops were obliged to encamp another night, 
without having overtaken the British army. But certain 
intelligence was now received, that the enemy were only 
a few miles in advance. 

Opposite to the place of encampment, there was an 
other vessel and a large distillery in flames, which con 
tained ordnance and naval stores to an immense amount. 
Two 24-pounders, with a large quantity of shells and balls 
were also taken at this place. A breastwork was formed 
round the encampment and General Harrison continued on 
horseback till 10 o clock, superintending and inspecting 
all the arrangements of the camp. During the night Gen 
eral Proctor and Tecumseh came down the river and recon 
noitred the encampment, with the intention of making an 



attack before day, but on seeing its strength and size they 
were discouraged, and abandoned the scheme. During the 
night governor Shelby was also on the alert, going round 
every part of his lines to see that proper vigilance was 
preserved, till exhausted with fatigue he took up his lodg 
ing in that part of the camp nearest the enemy, where he 
shared the blanket of one of his soldiers. 

In the morning on the 5th of October, the troops were 
raised very early, and as the day dawned the whole army 
was put in motion. The mounted regiment took the front, 
with General Harrison and his staff at its head, and the 
infantry followed after, as expeditiously as possible under 
the command of Governor Shelby. By 9 o clock the ad 
vance reached a mill, near which there is a rapid in the 
river, where it is practicable to ford it on horseback ; and 
at this place General Harrison intended to cross, that he 
might reach the enemy who were known to be on the north 
side. Two gun boats and several bateaux, laden with 
military stores and other property, together with several 
prisoners, had already been captured this morning, and at 
the mill a lieutenant and 8 privates were taken, from whom 
information was received that the enemy had determined 
to give us battle at no great distance from that place. The 
infantry in a few minutes came up with the mounted men, 
and the passage of the river was effected by 12 o clock. 
Each horseman took up one of the infantry behind him, 
and the balance crossed in canoes, some of which were 
found at that place, and the others caught floating down 
the river. As soon as the whole were over, the line of 
march was resumed in the former order, and at every place 
where the road touched a bend of the river, boats and 
canoes were found, with military stores, clothing, and pro 
visions, which the enemy had abandoned in the precipita 
tion of their retreat. After advancing about 8 miles, an 


encampment was discovered, where Colonel Warburton 
had lain the night before, with a part of the British troops, 
and it was ascertained that General Proctor had reached 
the Moravian town, 4 miles from this place with a detach 
ment on the preceding day. As it was now certain that 
the enemy was nearly overtaken, the general directed the 
advance to the mounted regiment to hasten their march, 
with a view to procure the necessary information for regu 
lating the movements of the main body. When they had 
proceeded about 2 miles, they captured a British wagoner, 
who informed them that the enemy were lying in order of 
battle about 300 yards before them, waiting for the arrival 
of our army. Colonel Johnson, with Major Suggett and 
his spies, immediately advanced within sight of their lines, 
and acquired by his own observations, as well as from the 
statements of the wagoner, every information that was at 
tainable, respecting the place and order in which the 
enemy were posted, all of which was communicated with 
out delay to General Harrison, agreeably to his directions. 
The regiment at the same time was halted and formed in 
order of battle. 

The place selected by General Proctor to resist the 
progress of our army was well calculated for his purpose. 
The ground along the margin of the river, through which 
the road passed, was covered chiefly with beech, intermixed 
with sugartree and oak timber, and tolerably free from 
undergrowth. At a small distance there was a marsh run 
ning nearly parallel with the river about 2 miles, the dis 
tance between them becoming less as you proceed up the 
river. Where the enemy was posted, there was a narrow 
swamp, between 200 and 300 yards from the river, after 
which there was some solid ground, before the main swamp 
commenced. The British regulars were formed in two 
lines, with their left on the river and their right extending 


to the first swamp, their artillery being planted in the road 
near the bank of the river. The Indians were all posted 
beyond the first swamp. Their left, where Tecumseh com 
manded in person, occupied the isthmus between the 
swamps, on which the undergrowth was tolerably thick; 
and their right extended a considerable distance down the 
main marsh, the margin of which at this place receded 
very fast from the river, and formed a very obtuse angle 
with the lines of the army. 

The mounted regiment in its present order of battle, 
occupied the ground between the river and the first swamp. 
General Harrison immediately came up to it, on being 
informed that the enemy was discovered, and having satis 
fied himself as to the situation and views of his adversary, 
he directed Colonel Johnson when the infantry approached, 
to take ground to the left, and forming his regiment on 
that flank, to endeavor to turn the right of the Indians. He 
then returned to give orders for the formation of the 
infantry, who were but a short distance in the rear of the 
horsemen when the enemy was first discovered. While 
engaged in this business, he was informed by Major Wood 
that he had approached very near the lines of the enemy 
and discovered that his regulars were drawn up in open 
order. This information, with the suggestion of Colonel 
Johnson, that the thickets and swampiness of the ground 
on the left, would render it impracticable for his mounted 
men to act efficiently in that direction, immediately in 
duced the general to change his plan of attack. He deter 
mined to refuse his left to the Indians, and to try the novel 
experiment of breaking the British lines at once, by a 
charge of mounted infantry. He therefore directed the 
mounted regiment to be formed in two charging columns in 
short lines, and on receiving the enemy s fire, to charge 


through his ranks, form in his rear, and act as circum 
stances might require. 

The kind of enemy to be fought rendered it necessary 
that the rear and flanks should be well secured against his 
attacks. The foot troops, consisting of five brigades, which 
averaged but little more than 300 men each, were therefore 
disposed in the following order : The brigade commanded 
by Trotter constituted the front line, at a convenient dis 
tance in the rear of the mounted regiment, with its right 
on the river and its left extending a short distance over the 
first swamp. The brigade of General King formed the 
second line, 150 yards in the rear of the former, and that 
of General Chiles was posted in the road, and still further 
in the rear, to act as a corps of reserve. These three 
brigades formed the command of General Henry. The 
division of General Desha, consisting of the brigades of 
Allen and Caldwell, and the regiment of Colonel Simrall, 
was formed on the left, in a line fronting the outer swamp, 
to protect the left flank against the Indians in that quarter. 
The right of this line joined the left of the front line under 
Trotter, with which it formed an abtuse angle or crotchet 
between the two swamps, whilst it extended on the left to a 
considerable distance parallel with the margin of the 
swamp. A small corps of regulars under Colonel Paul, 
about 120 strong, was posted between the road and the 
river, for the purpose of advancing in concert with a few 
Indians under the bank, and seizing the artillery of the 

The governor of Kentucky was directed to take his posi 
tion at the angle between the swamp, which was considered 
as a very important point in these arrangements for the 
contest. General Harrison placed himself at the head of 
the front line, from which he would be able to observe the 


charge of the horsemen, and to give them any support which 
might be required. 

When Colonel Johnson proceeded to form his regiment, 
agreeably to the orders of General Harrison, he found there 
was not room for all his men to act against the British 
between the river and the nearest swamp, and having as 
certained that he could cross the latter, he concluded to 
exercise the discretion which had been given him, and to 
carry his battalion through the swamp to attack the In 
dians. The first battalion was therefore formed, according 
to orders, by Lieutenant Colonel J. Johnson and Major 
Payne, opposite to the British lines, in four columns of 
double files, with Major Suggett and his spies in front. 
Its right was placed about fifty yards on the left of the 
road, that it might be in some measure out of the immediate 
range of the British artillery. The second battalion was 
marched through the swamp, and formed in two columns 
on horseback, with a company on foot in front, the right 
column being headed by Colonel Johnson and the left by 
Major Thompson. These columns, of course, were imme 
diately in front of the angle where Governor Shelby w r as 

Everything being in readiness for the onset, the whole 
army advanced in the order now described, until the front 
of the first battalion received a distant fire from the British 
lines; this somewhat frightened the horses, and caused a 
little confusion at the heads of the columns, and thus re 
tarded the charge, giving the enemy time to prepare for a 
second fire, which soon followed the first. But the columns 
in a moment were completely in motion, and rushed upon 
the British with irresistible impetuosity. Their front line 
immediately broke in every direction, and their second 
about thirty paces in its rear, after giving us a fire, was 
also broken and thrown into confusion. Our columns. 


having passed through, wheeled to the right aiid left, and 
began to pour a destructive fire on the rear of their dis 
ordered ranks but in a moment the contest was over. No 
sooner had our horsemen charged through their lines and 
gained their rear, then they began to surrender as fast as 
they could throw down their arms. And thus in a moment 
the whole British force, upwards of eight hundred strong, 
was totally vanquished and the greater part of it captured 
by the first battalion of the mounted regiment, under 
Lieutenant Colonel James Johnson. Before the front line 
of our infantry had gotten fairly in view of them General 
Proctor, however, made his escape, escorted by a small 
party of dragoons and mounted Indians, who were imme 
diately pursued as far as the Moravian town, by a party 
of the mounted regiment consisting chiefly of officers. 

The contest with the Indians on the left was more 
obstinate. They reserved their fire till the heads of the 
columns and the front line on foot had approached within 
a few paces of their position. A very destructive fire was 
then commenced by them, about the time the firing ceased 
between the British and the first battalion. Colonel John 
son, finding his advanced guard, composing the head of his 
column, nearly all cut down by the first fire, and himself 
severely wounded, immediately ordered his columns to dis 
mount and come up in line before the enemy, the ground 
which they occupied being unfavorable for operations on 
horseback. The line was promptly formed on foot, and a 
fierce conflict was then maintained for seven or eight min 
utes, with considerable execution on both sides, but the 
Indians had not sufficient firmness to sustain very long a 
fire which was close and warm and severely destructive. 
They gave way and fled through the brush into the outer 
swamp, not, however, before they had learned the total dis 
comfiture of their allies, and had lost by the fall of 


Tecumseh, a chief in whom were united the prowess of 
Achilles and authority of Agamemnon. 

As soon as the firing commenced between the Indians 
and the second battalion, Governor Shelby, who was posted 
at the crotchet in its rear, immediately ordered that part 
of the front line of infantry, which lay between the first 
swamp and the crotchet, being a part of Colonel Donelson s 
regiment, to march up briskly to the aid of the mounted 
men. They rushed up accordingly into Colonel Johnson s 
lines, and participated in the contest at that point. This 
was the only portion of the infantry which had an oppor 
tunity of engaging in any part of the battle. The governor 
also dispatched General Adair, his aide-de-camp, to bring 
up the brigade of General King to the front line, but before 
this could be accomplished, the enemy had fled from Colo 
nel Johnson, and a scattering, running fire had commenced 
along the swamp in front of General Desha s division, be- 
tAveen the retiring Indians and the mounted men in pursuit, 
who were now commanded by Major Thompson alone, 
Colonel Johnson having retired in consequence of his 
wounds. This firing in the swamp continued, with occa 
sional remissions, for nearly half an hour, during which 
time the contest was gallantly maintained by Major 
Thompson and his men, who were still pressing forward 
on the Indians. Governor Shelby in the meantime rode 
down to the left of General Desha s division, and ordered 
the regiment of Colonel Simrall, which was posted on the 
extreme left, to march up on the right flank of the enemy, 
in aid of Major Thompson, but before this reinforcement 
could reach the scene of action, the Indians had given up 
the contest. 

Soon after the British force had surrendered, and it 
was discovered that the Indians were yielding on the left, 
General Harrison ordered Major Payne to pursue General 


Proctor with a part of Ms battalion, which was promptly 
done, and the pursuit continued, by the greater part of the 
detachment, to the distance of six miles beyond the Mora 
vian town, some Indians being killed and a considerable 
number of prisoners, with a large quantity of plunder 
being captured in their progress. Majors Payne, Wood, 
Todd, and Chambers, Captain Langham, and Lieutenants 
Scrogin and Bell, with three privates, continued the pur 
suit several miles further till night came upon them but 
Proctor was not to be taken. His guilty conscience had 
told him that his only chance for safety from the vengeance 
of those whose countrymen he had murdered, lay in the 
celerity of his flight. The pursuem, however, ait last 
pressed him so closely that he was obliged to abandon the 
road, and his carriage and sword were captured by the 
gallant Major Wood. The prisoners, about 50 in number, 
were brought back to the Moravian town, where they were 
left in charge of Captain M Afee with 100 mounted men, 
until Major Gano arrived about midnight with a reinforce 
ment of 150 infantry. At the head of the town six pieces 
of brass artillery were taken, three of which had been cap 
tured in the revolution at Saratoga and York, and sur 
rendered again by Hull in Detroit. 

The exact loss which either side sustained in this battle 
has never been correctly known. According to the best 
information, however, which has been received, the total 
loss of the mounted regiment on that day was 17 killed and 
30 wounded. The loss of the infantry was much less, 
though considerable also, at the point where they rein 
forced Colonel Johnson, which was the principle theater 
of our losses. The Indians left thirty-three dead on the 
battle-ground, and had ten or twelve killed in different 
places by their pursuers. The British had 18 killed and 
26 wounded, besides 600 prisoners captured, including 25 


officers. Among our killed was Colonel Whitley, a veteran 
who had been a distinguished soldier in former Indian 
wars, and had been no less conspicuous and serviceable in 
the present campaign, in which he accompanied Colonel 
Johnson. Captain Craig and Lieutenant Logan died of 
their wounds a few days after the battle. Colonel Johnson 
and Captains Davidson and Short were also wounded 
severely, but recovered. The colonel was shot through his 
thigh and in his hip, by the first fire of the Indians, and 
shortly afterwards he was shot through his left hand, by a 
ball which ranged up his arm, but did not enter his body. 
He continued, however, in front of his men, gallantly fight 
ing the enemy, as long as the action lasted at that place. 
The white mare on which he rode was also shot so severely 
that she fell and expired soon after she had carried her 
rider within the lines of the infantry. 

Tecumseh was found among the dead, at the point 
where Colonel Johnson had charged upon the enemy in 
person; and it is generally believed that this celebrated 
chief fell by the hand of the colonel. It is certain that the 
latter killed the Indian with his pistol, who shot him 
through his hand, at the very spot where Tecumseh lay, 
but another dead body lay at the same place, and Mr. King, 
a soldier in Captain Davidson s company, had the honor of 
killing one of them. 

From the best information that has been received, it 
appears that there was no material difference in the 
strength of the two armies in this battle. The troops under 
Harrison had been greatly reduced in numbers, by detach 
ments left as guards and for other purposes, and by those 
who were sick and otherwise unable to keep up on forced 
marches. The distance from Sandwich to the Moravian 
town is upwards of eighty miles, which our army marched 
in three days and a half, though frequently harrassed by 


skirmishing and forming in order of battle, and delayed by 
repairing bridges and procuring supplies. A body of un 
disciplined militia, urged along and regulated alone by 
their patriotism and military ardor, would necessarily be 
much reduced by such a journey. The whole of the regulars 
had been left behind, except the small fragment of a regi 
ment under Colonel Paul. The brigade of General 
M Arthur had been left at Detroit to protect the inhabi 
tants against the Indians, and that of General Cass had 
been left at Sandwich, waiting for the baggage of the men, 
which delayed them so long that they were unable to come 
up with the army before the battle had been fought. The 
whole way from Sandwich to the battle-ground was filled 
with scattering parties of the militia. Hence, our force at 
the place of action was believed to be less than 2,500 men, 
which was very little more than the force actually engaged 
on the part of the enemy. The British part of that force 
appears to have been about 845 strong. Its loss in killed, 
wounded and captured was 645; and the adjutant-general 
of the British forces soon afterwards officially acknowl 
edged that 204 of those who escaped, had assembled at 
Ancaster on the 17th of October. This calculation is also 
confirmed by the official return of the troops at Maiden on 
the 10th of September, which made them 944 in number- 
affording an excess of 100 above our estimate, to meet the 
losses experienced on the retreat before the battle. As for 
the amount of their Indian force, when it is shown by their 
own official papers captured with the army, that 14,000 
rations were issued daily to the Indians before the retreat, 
and that the greater part of them accompanied Proctor up 
the Thames, it is certainly a reasonable calculation to 
estimate them at 15, 18, or even 20 hundred warriors in the 
battle. The whole force of the allies must, hence, have been 
at least considerably above 2,000 yet a large portion of 


that force was captured and the balance entirely driven off 
by the single regiment under Johnson, aided at one point 
only by a portion of the infantry, and making altogether, 
it is believed, much less than half the army. But had our 
force been greatly superior, the nature of the ground and 
position of the enemy would have rendered its superiority 
useless, for a larger force than his could not have been 
brought efficiently into action, had his resistance been so 
great as to render it necessary. The mounted regiment had 
but 950 men in the battle hence, the force of the first 
battalion, which was led into action by Lieutenant-Colonel 
James Johnson, could not have been much more than half 
as great as the British force, which it shattered in a 
moment by its impetuous charge. 

Our important and glorious victory, it is evident, was 
principally achieved by the novel expedient of charging 
through the British lines with mounted infantry. 

"The measure/ says General Harrison, who conceived 
it at the moment of its execution, "was not sanctioned by 
any thing I had seen or heard, but I was fully convinced 
that it would succeed. The American backwoodsmen ride 
better in the woods than any other people. A musket or 
rifle is no impediment to them, being accustomed to carry 
it on horseback from their earliest youth. I was per 
suaded, too, that the enemy would be quite unprepared for 
the shock, and that they could not resist it." 

The shock was indeed so unexpected and impetuous 
that all the resistance they were able to make amounted to 
nothing. Two or three killed and a few more wounded was 
all the execution done by upwards of eight hundred vet 
erans, many of whom surrendered without giving a second 

"It is really a novel thing," says Colonel Wood, "that 
raw militia stuck upon horses, with muskets in their hands 


instead of sabres, should be able to pierce British lines 
with such complete effect, as did Johnson s men in the 
affair upon the Thames; and perhaps the only circum 
stance which could justify that deviation from the long 
established rules of the art military, is the complete suc 
cess of the result. Great generals are authorized to step 
aside occasionally especially when they know that their 
errors will not be noticed by the adversary." 

The preservation of the following testimony of General 
Harrison, to the merits of his officers on this occasion, will 
doubtless be gratifying to many persons who will read this 
history. It is an extract from Ins letter to the secretary 
of war. 

"In communicating to the President through you, sir, 
my opinion of the conduct of the officers, who served under 
my command, I am at a loss how to mention that of Gov 
ernor Shelby, being convinced that no eulogium of mino 
can reach his merits. The governor of an independent 
state, greatly my superior in years, in experience, and in 
military frame, he placed himself under my command, and 
was not more remarkable for his zeal and activity than for 
the promptitude and cheerfulness with which he obeyed my 
orders. The major-generals, Henry and Desha, and the 
brigadiers, Allen, Caldwell, King, Chiles, and Trotter, all 
of the Kentucky volunteer militia, manifested great zeal 
and activity. Of Governor Shelby s staff, his adjutant- 
general, Colonel M Dowell, and his quartermaster-general, 
Colonel Walker, rendered great services; as did his aides- 
de-camp, General Adair and Majors Barry and Crittendeu. 
The military skill of the former was of great service to us, 
and the activity of the two latter gentlemen could not be 
surpassed. Illness deprived me of the talents of my ad 
jutant general, Colonel Gaines, who was left at SandAvich. 
His duties, however, were ably performed by the assistant 
adjutant general, Captain Butler. My aides-de-camp, 
Lieutenant O Fallon and Captain Todd of the line, and my 
volunteer aides, John S. Smith and John Chambers, Esqrs., 
have rendered me the most important services from tho 


opening of the campaign. I have already stated that Gen 
eral Cass and Commodore Perry assisted me in forming the 
troops for action. The former is an officer of the highest 
merit, and the appearance of the brave commodore cheered 
and animated every breast. It would be useless, sir, after 
stating the circumstances of the action, to pass encomiums 
on Colonel Johnson and his regiment. Veterans could not 
have manifested more firmness. The colonel s numerous 
wounds prove that he was in the post of danger. The 
Lieutenant-Colonel, James Johnson, and the Majors Payne 
and Thompson, were equally active, though more fortunate. 
Major Wood, of the engineers, already distinguished by 
his conduct at Fort Meigs, attended the army with two 
six-pounders. Having no use for them in the action, he 
joined in the pursuit of the enemy/ etc. Harrison. 

It has already been stated that only a small detachment 
of regular troops under Colonel Paul were in the action, 
the balance of the brigade under Cass, which was com 
posed of the regiments of Paul and Owings, and the bat 
talion of light infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Ball, 
having been left behind waiting for their baggage. They 
were about 30 miles in the rear at the time of the battle, 
and were much mortified at not having an opportunity to 
come in contact with the enemy and participate in the 
glory of the victory. Their officers had made great exer 
tions to discipline them, for which they had received the 
highest encomiums of General Harrison; and the gallant 
Perry had expressed his admiration of the skill and promp 
titude with which they performed their evolutions, particu 
larly in debarking from the boats and forming the order 
of battle. 

The merit of furnishing the means by which this im 
portant victory was achieved, belongs almost exclusively 
to Kentucky. Without her resources, under the skillful 
management of Governor Shelby, it is highly probable that 
the general government would not have brought the cam- 


paign to a successful issue, although they had obtained the 
command of Lake Erie. The small force of regulars, with 
which they had been able to furnish General Harrison, 
was wholly incompetent to the invasion of Upper Canada, 
and it was so late in the season, before they authorized him 
to call on the militia, that the time usually consumed in 
drafting and marching foot troops, including the delays 
unavoidable in procuring the supplies and transportation 
they would require, must have thrown him once more into 
the difficulties of a winter campaign. By raising mounted 
volunteers, Governor Shelby not only furnished the nec 
essary number of men with promptness, but he also fur 
nished in their horses the means of transportation, by 
which they were enabled to reach the lake in good time; 
and when the government had carried them over the lake, 
they proceeded again upon their own resources and those 
of the enemy, without much assistance from the govern 
ment through the balance of the campaign. The unauthor 
ized but judicious and successful course pursued by Gov 
ernor Shelby in this instance, however, was afterwards 
approved not only by the legislature of Kentucky, but also 
by the executive of the Union and the voice of the nation. 
On the 6th our troops continued to occupy the battle 
ground, and the Moravian town about 2 miles above it, 
being employed in burying the dead and collecting the 
public property of the enemy, of which a considerable 
quantity was found in different places. In addition to the 
artillery already mentioned, and a great variety of military 
stores, there were at least 5,000 stand of small arms cap 
tured by our troops and destroyed by the enemy on this 
expedition. A large proportion of them had been taken 
from us at the surrender of Detroit, the massacre of the 
river Raisin, and the defeat of Colonel Dudley. Early on 
the 7th, General Harrison left the army under the immo- 


diate command of Governor Shelby and returned to 
Detroit, and in the course of the same day the different 
corps commenced their return home, having embarked the 
greater part of the property they had captured in boats 
on the Thames, and set fire to the Moravian town, which 
was a nice inconsiderable village, occupied chiefly by Dela 
ware Indians, who professed to be of the Moravian sect of 
religion. On the 10th all the troops arrived with their 
prisoners at Sandwich. It had now began to snow, and 
the weather was extremely cold and stormy. For two or 
three days the wind blew down the strait with such violence 
that it was impracticable to cross it, and the vessels bring 
ing down the public property were greatly endangered and 
much of it was lost. 

In the meantime an armistice was concluded by Gen 
eral Harrison with the Indians. Before he marched in 
pursuit of the British, a deputation of the Ottawas and 
Chippewas had sued for peace, which he had promised them 
on condition that they would bring in their families and 
raise the tomahawk against the British. To these terms 
they had readily acceded, and before his return the 
Miamies and Potawatamies had solicited a cessation of 
hostilities from General M Arthur on the same conditions. 
Even the ferocious and inveterate Maipock of the Potawat 
amies now tendered his submission, and an armistice was 
concluded with seven of the hostile tribes, which was to 
continue till the pleasure of the President was known. 
They agreed to deliver up all their prisoners at Fort 
Wayne, and to leave hostages in security for their good 
behavior. Separated from their allies by our victories on 
the lake and the Thames, from whom they had received 
subsistence and council, they were now glad to accept our 
friendship on any terms, which would save them from 
extermination bv famine and the sword. 


On the 12th the storm had so far abated that the 
mounted regiment crossed over the strait to Spring Wells ; 
and on the next day the Kentucky infantry crossed at the 
mouth of the river Rouge. Some dissatisfaction and com 
plaint now prevailed among the latter, at not being fur 
nished with water transportation to carry them back to 
Portage, but General Harrison came into their camp, and 
in a public address assured them that the vessels of the 
fleet were required for other important services. This 
satisfied and reconciled most of them to return on foot 
along the lake shore. The greater part of the fleet was still 
in lake St. Glair, many of the boats were lost, and Commo 
dore Perry had positive orders from the government to 
carry an expedition in the fleet against Mackinaw, which 
General Harrison was now preparing to execute with the 

The foot troops arrived at the river Raisin on the 15th, 
where they found the bones of their massacred countrymen 
still bleaching in the village of Frenchtown and its en 
virons. Governor Shelby directed the regiment of Colonel 
Simrall to collect and bury them, but they were so numer 
ous and widely scattered, that he found it necessary to 
employ the brigade of General King in the same business. 
They collected 65 skeletons, which were interred with the 
honors due to them by their brethren, returning from the 
conquest of their murderers, over whom they had tri 
umphed more signally in honor and humanity than in 
arms. On the next day they continued their march and 
arrived at the Miami Bay, where they received a very 
reasonable supply of provisions, which were sent down to 
them by Major Trigg from Fort Meigs. On the 19th they 
arrived at Portage, where their horses had been left, having 
performed a hard and laborious march of seven days, since 
they crossed the strait, in which they suffered greatly from 



hunger, fatigue and cold. The beach along the edge of the 
water afforded them a good road for a considerable portion 
of the way, but they had often to wade through deep waters 
in passing creeks and arms of the lake and to penetrate 
through horrible swamps and difficult thickets. The care 
of the prisoners had greatly added to the difficulties, which 
his excellency, the governor, had to encounter, in super 
intending the homeward march, until the army arrived at 
Sandwich ; at that place General Trotter voluntarily took 
charge of them, and notwithstanding the extreme difficul 
ties of the journey, thence to Portage, his management was 
so judicious and vigilant that he was able at the latter 
place to account for every man who had been confided to 
his care. 

The horses were collected from the enclosure in which 
they had been left, by forming a line of 1,500 men across 
the lower end of the peninsula, before which they were 
driven up on the isthmus and each delivered to its proper 
owner. Colonel Rife had not only taken good care of the 
horses, but he had also built a fort at Portage, and had 
opened and bridged a road to Lower Sandusky, for which 
he received the thanks of his returning countrymen. On 
the 20th a general order was issued, directing the return of 
the troops to Kentucky in detachments, passing by Prank- 
linton, where they were to deposit their arms. The gov 
ernor concluded this order by observing 

"although in the course of this campaign, you neces 
sarily encountered many difficulties and privations, yet 
they were met with that cheerfulness and sustained with 
that manly fortitude which the occasion required. The 
uninterrupted good fortune which lias attended us, is a 
source of the most pleasing reflection, and cannot fail to 
excite the warmest feelings of gratitude towards the Divine 
Being, who has been pleased in a peculiar manner to favor 


us and to crown with success the exertions we have maxle 
for our country. 

"In the course of the very active operations which we 
have performed, it is possible that expressions may have 
dropped, tending to irritate and wound the feelings of some 
who were engaged in them. The commanding general 
hopes, that with the campaign will end every unpleasant 
sensation, which may have arisen from that source, and 
that we shall return home united as a band of brothers, 
with the sweet solace of having served our country from 
the purest motives, and with the best of our abilities." 

In pursuance of this order the troops returned to Ken 
tucky and were discharged by Major Trigg at Limestone 
on the 4th of November. The mounted regiment was de 
tained a few days at Detroit, till the Indians had dispersed 
after the armistice, and then returned home without any 
remarkable occurrence. Its colonel was left at Detroit in 
consequence of his wounds, where he was attended by his 
brother, the lieutenant-colonel, who brought him a few 
days afterwards over the lake in a boat to Lower Sandusky. 
He was thence carried in a wagon to Cincinnati, where he 
met his own carriage coming for him. After he had arrived 
at home, he was confined to his bed several months; he was 
able, however, to resume his seat in Congress about the 
middle of February. Though at last recovered of his 
wounds, they have left a permanent lameness behind them. 

The expedition against Mackinaw, for which General 
Harrison and Commodore Perry were preparing, when the 
Kentuckians left them, was soon afterwards abandoned. 
They intended to have sailed on the 12th, but the weather 
was then so stormy that they could not venture to embark ; 
nor had they yet received a supply of provisions and bag 
gage, which they were expecting up the lake for the expedi 
tion. Those supplies were on board the schooners Chippewa 
and Ohio, the former from Bass Island, and the latter from 


Cleveland. They had arrived at the mouth of the strait, 
when they were met by the storm, by which they were so 
greatly distressed that the mariners threw all the baggage 
and provisions overboard. The vessels were then driven 
down the lake, and finally run aground near Buffalo. Some 
of the baggage being found on shore near the upper end of 
the lake, it was believed at headquarters that the schooners 
were entirely lost. A consultation was then held by Gen 
eral Harrison, with M Arthur and Cass of the army, and 
Perry and Elliott of the fleet, at which it was determined 
unanimously that the season was then so far advanced that 
the expedition ought not to be undertaken, unless it could 
sail immediately, and that it would be impossible to pro 
cure the necessary supplies for a considerable length of 
time. It was also believed that General Proctor had or 
dered the commanding officer at Mackinaw to destroy that 
post and retreat by the way of Grand River. The enter 
prise was, therefore, abandoned without hesitation. 

The Indians being subdued, and the expedition to Mack 
inaw abandoned, General Harrison determined to proceed 
down the lake in the fleet, with General M 7 Arthur s brigade 
and a battalion of regular riflemen under Colonel Smith. 
He had not for several months received any instructions 
from the war department, and knew not what the govern 
ment wished him to do, on the close of the campaign in the 
northwest. Believing, however, that General Cass would 
be able with his brigade to keep the Indians in subjection, 
and hold our conquests in that quarter, he left him in com 
mand at Detroit, and sailed down the lake with the rest of 
the troops. Orders to this effect had been sent from the 
war department by Captain Brown, who was in one of the 
schooners, and was lost when she grounded at the lower 
end of the lake. 


The secretary of war was at S ackett s Harbor when he 
received the first intelligence of Perry s victory, and on the 
22nd of September had dispatched Captain Brown with 
orders for General Harrison to secure Maiden, proceed 
down the lake with his forces and throw himself in the 
rear of De Rottenburg, who was then investing Port 
George. A reinforcement of 3,000 men, on both sides of the 
Niagara, was to be ready to join him on his arrival, and 
he was then expected to drive the enemy from the country 
between lakes Erie and Ontario. 

On the 22nd of October General Harrison arrived at 
Erie, where the fleet had been built, and soon pursued his 
voyage again to Buffalo, where he arrived on the 24th, with 
an aggregate of 1,300 men, which afforded, however, but 
1,000 effectives. He had still received no communication 
from the war department, and was entirely uninformed as 
to the situation of affairs where he was going. He deter 
mined, however, to proceed dow T n the Niagara to Fort 
George. De Rottenburg had long since abandoned that 
place, and retired to Burlington Bay. General M Clure, 
of the New York militia, was commanding at the fort when 
General Harrison arrived; and as the enemy was still at 
Burlington, they determined to march against him and 
drive him from that position. The troops in the meantime 
were marched down by the falls and stationed at Newark. 
A communication was now opened with the secretary of 
war at Sackett s Habor, and to obtain a sufficient force for 
the intended enterprise, a call was made on the militia of 
the adjoining counties. But before an adequate force 
con Id be collected, and the necessary arrangements made, 
a letter was received by General Harrison from the secre 
tary, informing him that the brigade of M Arthur was re 
quired at Sackett s Harbor, and that he would be permitted 
to make a visit to his family, which he understood as an 


order to retire to his own district. The letter was dated 
on the 3rd of November, and on the 16th of that month, 
Commodore Chauncey arrived at Newark, the headquarters 
of General Harrison, with vessels to transport his troops 
to the harbor. The troops were accordingly embarked, and 
the general set out immediately for Washington City, 
which he included in his route on the visit to his family at 
Cincinnati. On his journey he received all those marks 
and demonstrations of public confidence and gratitude, 
with which the American people were accustomed to greet 
their distinguished defenders : and as the campaign on the 
northern frontier soon terminated in a copious harvest of 
disgrace to all the generals immediately concerned in it, 
General Harrison soon had the additional satisfaction of 
being designated by public opinion, for the chief command 
on that frontier in the campaign of the ensuing summer. 
The judgment of the war department, however, was at 
variance with the expectations of the people on this sub 
ject. Early in January the general arrived at Cincinnati, 
which continued to be his headquarters as long as he 
thought proper to retain his commission in the army. 

General Cass, being required to attend the trial of 
General Hull at Albany, the command at Detroit devolved 
on Colonel Butler, and the former before his return to the 
western country was appointed governor of the Michigan 
territory. The greater part of the fleet was stationed for 
the winter in the harbor of Erie, some of the larger vessels 
being left in Put-in-Bay and the necessary precautions 
were taken to guard the whole against any enterprise for 
their destruction by the enemy. 

The campaign on the northern frontier, under the im 
mediate superintendence of Armstrong, Wilkinson and 
Hampton, having terminated very unfavorably to our 
cause, apprehensions were entertained by the government 


in December, that the British thus encouraged, would make 
great exertions to re-establish their affairs in the north 
west, and particularly to regain the friendship of the In 
dians, and perpetuate their influence among them. With 
the latter views, it was ascertained that Dickson had been 
sent up from York with a large quantity of goods. Our 
government hence determined to take the most effectual 
and rigorous measures to counteract these designs of the 
enemy. Instructions were therefore sent after General 
Harrison on his return home, that the settlements on the 
Thames, which would afford the enemy the means of ad 
vancing towards Detroit, and intermeddling with the In 
dians, must be entirely destroyed and converted into a 
desert; that peace must be made with the Indians on the 
most liberal terms, supplying all their wants and allowing 
them to retain all the lands they had held before the war; 
and that they must be engaged to take up arms on our side, 
and let loose on the British frontier early in the spring, 
so as to drive away every British settler to be found on the 
west of Kingston. 

"A question may occur," says the secretary of war, 
"under what restrictions, as to their mode of warfare, we 
ought to employ them? The question has in it no difficulty. 
Under what justification do we employ them at all? The 
example of the enemy. It was not our choice but theirs, 
and is but an appeal made to their fears, after having un 
successfully made many to their justice. The experiment 
should therefore have fair play. All the horrors brought 
to our firesides ought to be carried to theirs. Nor is this a 
policy of mere retaliation. The settlements in Upper 
Canada abandoned, their posts cannot be supported, and 
will, of course, also be abandoned." 

When these instructions were issued, the cruelties of 
the savages, now threatened to be renewed, were not the 
only atrocities which merited this retaliation. < The enemy 


bad recently crossed into our settlements on the Niagara 
frontier, and laid the whole country in ruins, destroying 
everything before them in the most wanton and barbarous 
manner. The humanity of the President, however, would 
not permit him to persist in the rigorous measures he had 
authorized. The instructions from the secretary were 
speedily countermanded, and the general was merely 

"to make prisoners and remove to our settlements, so 
many of the male British settlers as might be most dis 
posed to do us harm. 7 

It appears, however, from a correspondence between 
General Harrison and the British Generals Proctor and 
Vincent, after the battle on the Thames, that the former 
had firmly resolved to take upon himself the responsibility 
of a rigorous retaliation, should a renewal of Indian bar 
barities render it necessary. Immediately after the battle 
of the Thames, Proctor sent a flag with a letter to General 
Harrison, requesting that the private property and papers, 
which had been captured with the army, might be respected 
and restored to their proper owners. As General Harrison 
was on the eve of sailing down the lake, when he received 
the letter, he declined answering it until he had arrived at 
Port George, and then directed his reply to General Vin 
cent, the senior officer at Burlington Heights. As for his 
treatment of the prisoners, and his disposition of private 
papers and property, lie referred General Vincent to the 
accompanying letters from the captured officer s for infor 
mation; at the same time assuring him that his conduct 
had proceeded from motives of humanity alone, and not 
from any claim which the enemy could make on the score 
of reciprocity of treatment ; for, of the American prisoners 
who had fallen into the hands of Procter, those who 


escaped from the tomahawk had suffered all the indignities 
and deprivations which human nature was capable of 
enduring. There was not a single instance in which the 
private property of the officers had been respected. After 
enumerating many instances, in which families comprising 
men, women, and children, had been most inhumanly 
butchered by Indians, who came direct from the British 
camp and returned to it, and after assuring general Vin 
cent that 

"The savages who had sued for mercy, would gladly 
have shown their claims to it, by reacting on the Thames 
the bloody scenes of Sandusky and Cold Creek," that "a 
single sign of approbation would have been sufficient to 

pour upon the subjects of the kind their whole fury " 

he concludes his letter with the following paragraph : 

"I deprecate most sincerely the dreadful alternative 
which will be offered to me, should those barbarities be 
continued, but I solemnly declare that if the Indians who 
remain under the influence of the British government, are 
suffered to commit any depredations on the citizens, within 
the district that is committed to my protection, I will 
remove the restrictions which have been imposed on those 
who have offered their services to the United States, and 
direct them to carry on the war in their own way. I have 
never heard a single excuse for the employment of the 
savages by your government, unless we may credit the 
story of some British officers having dared to assert, that 
as we employed the Kentuckians, you had a right to make 
use of, the Indians. If such injurious sentiments have 
really prevailed, to the prejudice of a brave, well-informed 
and virtuous people, they will be removed by the represen 
tations of your officers, who were lately taken upon the 
river Thames. They will inform you, sir, that so far from 
offering any violence to the persons of their prisoners, these 
savages would not permit a word to escape them, which 
was calculated to wound or insult their feelings and this, 
too, with the sufferings of their friends and relatives at the 


rivers Raisin and Miami fresh in their recollection. v - 

General Vincent promised in his reply, that 

"no effort of his should ever be wanting to diminish the 
evils of a state of warfare, as far as might be consistent 
with the duties which were due to his king and country" 

a promise which portended butcheries and devastation 
without measure, as the history of "his majesty s reign over 
his dutiful subjects" most amply demonstrates. But for 
tunately the progress of the war did not afford an oppor 
tunity again for the performance of those duties. 



Although the enemy did not think proper during the 
winter to send up any formidable force to the northwest, 
yet Colonel Butler, the commanding officer at Detroit, was 
scarcely in a condition to contend with their advanced 
posts, and the individuals of the militia who were disposed 
to be troublesome. The brigade of General Cass, which 
was left at Detroit, was originally very weak, and during 
the month of December, it suffered extremely from a 
violent epidemic, which resisted all the skill of its physi 
cians. At one time its whole effective force did not amount 
to 300 men. A small corps of the Ohio and Pennsylvania 
militia, were hence kept in service through the winter, to 
assist in garrisoning the different posts, and in protecting 
the vessels of the fleet. 

About the first of January, the enemy posted a corps 
of observations at Delaware on the Thames, thirty miles 
above the Moravian town, under the command of Captain 
Stewart, who frequently sent foraging and reconnoitering 
parties down the Thames, and into the vicinity of Sand 
wich. Colonel Butler was hence induced to place a corps 
for similar purposes, and as a check to the movements of 
the enemy, on the Thames at Dobson s some distance below 
the Moravian town. It consisted of 30 men under the 



command of Lieutenant Lowell. The British, being ap 
prised of the situation of this corps, descended the Thames 
from Delaware and surprised it in the night, capturing the 
whole party without much loss in killed and wounded on 
either side. The colonel did not think proper to re-estab 
lish the post, but occasionally sent reconnoitering and 
foraging parties up the Thames, one of which, under Cap 
tain Lee, who commanded a company of Michigan rangers, 
captured and brought away Colonel Bagby, Captain 
Springer, and several others of the Canadian militia, who 
were the most active in the cause of the enemy. Captain 
Springer was a native of the United States, having been 
born near Albany in New York, and had been naturalized 
by the British and made a magistrate as well as a militia 
officer. Captain Lee some time afterwards caught Major 
Townsley, a native of Connecticut, who had been the most 
active and vindictive partisan of the British in Upper 

In February Colonel Butler determined to make a 
stroke at some of the advanced posts of the enemy. The 
execution of the enterprise was confided to Captain 
Holmes, with a detachment of regulars and some Michigan 
rangers and militia. He was directed to march against a 
small post called Fort Talbot, situated about 100 miles 
down the lake below Maiden, or if he should deem it more 
eligible to make an attack on the enemy at Delaware, he 
was authorized to change his destination to that place. He 
marched from Maiden about the 20th of February, with 
two six-pounders in his train, but he soon found it impos 
sible to proceed down the lake with artillery, he was so 
much obstructed by fallen timber, thickets, and swamps. 
He was obliged to leave them and depend on his small 
arms. Captain Gill, who had pursued some Canadian 
militia up the Thames, with a small company of rangers, 


was to cross the country and form a junction with Holmes. 
After this had been effected, the route down the lake was 
found to be so difficult that Captain Holmes determined to 
leave it and go to the Thames, with a view either to attack 
the enemy at Delaware, or to intercept any detachment 
that might be sent down the river. He struck the Thames 
below the Moravian town, and immediately marched to 
wards the enemy s post. When he had arrived within fif 
teen miles of it, he learned that a detachment about 300 
strong was coming to meet him. As the force which he 
commanded was much weaker, he determined to retreat till 
he could find a strong position to resist them. He fell back 
five miles to Twenty Mile Creek, a stream which runs into 
the Thames from the north. Having crossed it on a bridge, 
he posted his men on the summit of an adjoining height, 
and began to strengthen his position with a breastwork. 
The enemy soon appeared on the opposite heights over the 
creek. The captain now called a council of officers, to 
determine whether they should endeavor to maintain their 
position, or retreat still further. On this question there 
was much difference of opinion. Many of the detachment 
had suffered so much from cold and fatigue that they were 
now unfit for duty, and others had been permitted from 
the same causes to return home, so that the whole effective 
force did not exceed 160, while the force of the enemy was 
believed to be double that number. Captain Holmes and 
his adjutant, Ensign Heard, a grandson of the celebrated 
General Morgan, were strenuously opposed to a retreat, 
and it was at last determined that they would perish or 
triumph in their present position. 

The enemy did not pretend to annoy them that evening, 
but early in the morning a party of British regulars came 
to the bank of the creek, fired a few times at the camp and 
then retired. After waiting some time for a more formid- 


able attack, Captain Holmes sent out Lieutenant Knox 
with some of the rangers to reconnoitre. He returned in a 
few minutes and reported that the enemy had fled with 
precipitation, leaving their baggage scattered along the 
road, and that they did not appear to have been more than 
seventy in number. Mortified at the idea of having re 
treated from such diminutive force, Captain Holmes imme 
diately pursued them, with a determination to attack their 
position at Delaware next morning. Having pursued them 
about five miles, Captain Lee, of the advanced guard, re 
ported that he had come up with the enemy in considerable 
force, and that they were forming in order of battle. Cap 
tain Holmes now apprehended that they had retreated to 
draw him from his position, with a view to gain his rear 
with a superior force, which would compel him to advance 
towards their post at Delaware, or to cross the wilderness 
towards F ort Talbot without forage or provisions. It was 
not their plan, however, to intercept his retreat, and in a 
short time he regained the position he had left on Twenty 
Mile Creek. 

Some of his officers again insisted on a retreat, but the 
captain determined to wait at this place for an attack from 
the enemy. He continued to strengthen his camp which 
was a hollow square, and post his regulars on the north 
side, and on the brow of the hill without breastwork. His 
rangers and militia were posted on the west and south, the 
horses and baggage being placed in the center. Late in the 
evening the enemy appeared again on the opposite heights, 
upwards of 300 strong, under the command of Captain 
Basden. Their militia and Indians immediately crossed 
the creek above the road, surrounded the camp, and com 
menced an attack on the north, west and south. Their 
regulars crossed on the bridge and charged up the hill 
within 20 paces of our front line, which had been ordered 


to kneel so as to be effectually protected by the brow of 
the hill. The fire of that line was now opened with such 
effect that the front section of the enemy was immediately 
cut down, and those which followed were very much in 
jured. He then displayed his column along the hillside 
and took open distance behind trees, in which order a 
warm contest was maintained for a considerable time. On 
the other lines the militia and Indians fought behind trees 
at a more respectful distance, but were also much thinned 
by the deliberate fire of our men. Finding it impossible to 
make much impression on the camp, the enemy at length 
retreated under cover of the night, having lost in the 
action, according to their own account, no less than sixty- 
seven killed and wounded, but in the opinion of Captain 
Holmes, their loss was between eighty and ninety. Captain 
Basden and Lieutenant M Donald were wounded, and Cap 
tain Johnson and Lieutenant Graham were killed. The 
loss on our side was but seven in killed and wounded. 

The brave detachment under Holmes received much 
applause for this victory, which formed a fine counterpart 
to the brilliant affair of Sandusky. The commanding offi 
cer, who was always remarkable for his zeal, activity, and 
knowledge of his duty, was immediately promoted to the 
rank of major, for his singular gallantry and good conduct 
on this occasion. 

Soon after this affair Colonel Butler obtained leave to 
return to Kentucky chiefly with a view to superintend the 
recruiting of his own regiment in that state, and the com 
mand of Detroit devolved on Lieutenant Croghan. 

As the government still expected, that the British 
would make considerable exertions in the approaching 
summer to regain the ground they had lost in the north 
west, and particularly to re-establish their connections and 
influence with the Indians, a plan of counteracting opera- 


tions was adopted early in April, and Commodore Sinclair 
and Major Holmes were selected to carry it into execution. 
The view of the government will be best understood by the 
following extract of a communication from the commodore 
to Colonel Croghan : 

"Erie, 28th of April, 1814. 

"Sir The government having thought proper to sep 
arate the command of the upper lakes from that of Ontario, 
they have appointed me to the former, and in my instruc 
tions I am directed to open a communication with the 
commanding officer at Detroit. That you may be better 
informed of their views, I give you the following extract 
from the instructions of the honorable secretary of the 
navy on this subject: 

Extract April 15th, 1814. 

You will immediately on your arrival at Erie, open a 
communication with the military commander at Detroit, 
asking of him all the information he may possess, relative 
to the passage into and navigation of Lake Huron, and all 
the circumstances connected with your expedition, the 
nature and extent of which you will explain to him. You 
will also request him to have in readiness to join your 
force, a body of 300 hardy, intrepid volunteers, one-half of 
which should be riflemen, for which I have, no doubt, the 
secretary of war will have directed the necessary measures 
to be taken. 

The information we possess, relative to the designs and 
movements of the enemy, rests upon report, and is rather 
probable than certain. There is, however, reason to be 
lieve, that the enemy have sent two small detachments of 
seamen, and perhaps mechanics to Lake Huron, where 
they are constructing some sort of naval force rumor says 
two brigs, but if the last is so, they must be of small force. 
They are also said, to be building a number of boats on lake 
Simcoe, and have recently transported considerable quan 
tities of naval and ordnance stores to York, the distance 
from which to Lake Simcoe is not above 40 miles over a 
good road. The boats are doubtless intended to convey 


those stjores, through the waters emptying from Lake 
Simcoe into Lake Huron at Gloucester Bay, on the south 
east extremity of Lake Huron. It is on the shores of this 
bay they are constructing their naval force. For this place 
you will make a prompt and vigorous push, destroy or 
capture whatever they may have prepared, and proceed, 
before the alarm can be extended, to St. Joseph at the 
mouth of French River, which place it is expected you 
may readily reduce and get possession of all the property 
and stores deposited there, and leaving a force to protect 
that post if tenable, or not likely to be attacked by a 
superior force, you will thence proceed to Mackinaw, with 
which the communication of the enemy being entirely cut 
off, and the place being destitute of provisions, it will 
doubtless prove an easy conquest. Having accomplished 
these objects, you will be governed by the season, the state 
of your provisions, and the information you may receive, 
whether to leave a small garrison at that place and a part 
of your squadron on that lake, during the ensuing winter, 
or return to Erie with the whole. 

After requesting Colonel Croghan to dispatch some 
active spies, to ascertain the situation and forces of the 
enemy, and also to secure a passage into Lake Huron, by 
erecting a military post in some eligible situation on the 
strait between lakes St. Clair and Huron, the commodore 

"It appears to me that the military force mentioned by 
the secretary of the navy is by no means adequate, as my 
ships will be badly manned, owing to the great difficulty 
of procuring seamen ; and if I am not misinformed, the land 
force will have in every instance to co-operate on shore, as 
their batteries are so situated as not to be reduced by the 
shipping." Sinclair. 

About the time these instructions were communicated 
to the commodore, the secretary of war thought proper to 
send a corresponding order directly to Major Holmes, 
entirely passing by Colonel Croghan, the commandant at 



Detroit, and merely notifying General Harrison the com 
mander of the district through whom the arrangements for 
the expedition should have been made. This course of the 
secretary was a violation not only of military etiquette, 
but also of the most important military principles which 
require that the commander of a district, or of a separate 
post, especially when situated on a distant frontier, should 
have the supreme direction of minor matters, within the 
sphere of his command. The interference of the govern 
ment in such matters must inevitably derange his plans 
and produce confusion and disaster in the service. The 
general should be furnished with the object and outlines of 
the campaign or expedition, and with the necessary sup 
plies of men, money, and munitions, for accomplishing that 
object, and then be made responsible for their proper man 
agement. But the secretary in this instance issued his 
orders to Major Holmes under the nose of his colonel, 
whereby the rank and authority of the latter were super- 
ceded and the resources of his post were to be clandestinely 
withdrawn from his power. This was highly resented by 
Colonel Croghan, who communicated his sentiments on this 
subject without reserve to Commodore St. Clair and Gen 
eral Harrison. He assured the commodore that he had 
already taken every means to reconnoitre the upper lakes 
and country, with a view to obtaining such information as 
he requested, and that he would be happy to co-operate and 
assist him in the enterprise, but could not pledge himself 
in the present state of his resources, to furnish any impor 
tant assistance. To the general he wrote : 

"Major Holmes has been notified by the war department 
that he is chosen to command the land troops which are 
intended to co-operate with the fleet against the enemy s 
force on the upper lakes. So soon as I may be directed by 
you, to order Major Holmes on that command, and to fur- 


nish him with the necessary troops, I shall do so, but not 
till then shall he or any other part of my force leave the 
sod. Croghan." 

In answer to a second letter from the commodore, 
written in the latter part of May, he proceeds : 

"I much fear, sir, that in your expectation of being 
joined at this place by a battalion, or corps of regulars 
under Major Holmes, you will be disappointed. Major 
Holmes it is true has been notified by the war department 
that he is selected to command the land troops on the expe 
dition up the lakes. But this notification, even did it 
amount to a positive order to the major, could not be con 
sidered as an order to me, nor can I deem it in itself suffi 
cient to justify me in weakening the present reduced 
strength of my command. My objection to co-operate with 
you at this time, is not I assure you, moved by anything 
like chagrin at this departure from military etiquette, but 
is bottomed on a thorough conviction that nothing less 
than a positive order could justify or excuse my detaching 
a part of the small force under my command, from the 
immediate defense of this frontier. I agree with you, that 
the promised force under Major Holmes appears too weak 
to effect the desired end. I cannot speak positively on 
the subject, as my knowledge even of the geographical situa 
tion of that country is but limited ; yet, my belief is, that if 
resistance be made at all, it will prove too stout for 1,000 
men. The position of Mackinac is a strong one, and should 
the enemy have determined on holding it, he has had time 
enough to throw in reinforcements. The Engages in the 
employ of the N. W. Company, generally get down to Mack 
inaw from their wintering grounds, about the last of May 
in every year. Will those hardy fellows, whose force ex 
ceeds 1,000, be permitted to be idle? Will it not be the 
interest of the N. W. Company to exert all its means, in 
the defense of those posts, in which it is so immediately 
concerned? I send you a few queries on this subject, with 
the answers as given by an intelligent gentleman, formerly 
an agent to the N. W. Company, and well acquainted with 
the geographical situation of that country. Every arrange- 


ment is made for securing the entrance into Lake Huron. 
I am under no solicitude about the passage up the strait. 


Although the colonel appears to consider the order to 
Holmes, as a mere notification of his appointment, yet it 
was certainly intended by the secretary, to be sufficiently 
positive and ample to put the expedition in motion, with 
out any other communication from the war department, 
except the instructions to the commodore. Soon after the 
above was written, the colonel addressed another letter to 
General Harrison, from which the following is an extract : 

"I know not how to account for the secretary of war s 
assuming to himself, the right of designating Major Holmes 
for this command to Mackinaw. My ideas on the subject 
may not be correct, yet for the sake of the principle, were I 
a general commanding a district, I would be very far from 
suffering the secretary of war, or any other authority, to 
interfere with my internal police. 

"I have not yet been able, even by three attempts, to 
ascertain whether the enemy is building boats at Macko 
dash (Gloucester Bay.) None of my spies would venture 
far enough, being either frightened at the view of Lake 
Huron, or alarmed at the probability of meeting hostile 
Indians. Croghan. " 

This letter was written in the latter part of May. Gen 
eral Harrison actuated by similar sentiments had already 
resigned his commission of major-general in the army, 
which he had received about the time his appointment in 
the Kentucky militia had expired. He believed that the 
secretary of war disliked him, and had intentionally en 
croached on the prerogatives of his rank to insult him, by 
corresponding with the officers under his command, and 
giving them orders direct, which ought, at least, to have 
been communicated indirectly, through the Commander-in- 
chief of the district. He had remonstrated in a spirited 


manner against this interference, and finding it again re 
newed in the present case, he resigned his commission by 
the folloAving letters to the secretary and President. 

"Headquarters, Cincinnati, May llth, 1914. 

"Sir I have the honor through you, to request the 
President to accept my resignation of the appointment of 
major-general in the army, with which he has honored me. 

"Lest the public service should suffer, before a succes 
sor can be nominated, I shall continue to act until the 31st 
instant, by which time I hope to be relieved. 

"Having some reasons to believe, that the most ma 
licious insinuations have been made against me at Wash 
ington, it was my intention to have requested an inquiry 
into my conduct, from the commencement of my command. 
Further reflection has, however, determined me, to decline 
the application because, from the proud consciousness of 
having palpably done my duty, I cannot believe that it is 
necessary either for the satisfaction of the government or 
the people, that I should pay so much respect to the sug 
gestions of malice and envy. 

"It is necessary, however, that I should assure you, sir, 
that I subscribe implicitly to the opinion, that military 
officers are responsible for their conduct, and amenable to 
the decisions of a court martial, after they have left the ser 
vice, for any improper act committed in it. 

"The principle was established in England, in the case 
of Lord George Sackville after the battle of Minden ; it was 
known and recognized by all the ancient republics ; and is 
particularly applicable I think to a government like ours. 
I, therefore, pledge myself to answer before a court mar 
tial, at any future period, to any charge which may be 
brought against me. 

"I have the honor, etc., 


"The Hon. J. Armstrong, Etc/ 

"Headquarters, Cincinnati, May llth, 1914. 
"Dear Sir I have this day forwarded to the secretary 
of war, my resignation of the commission I hold in the 


"This measure has not been determined on, without a 
reference to all the reasons which should influence a citi- 
7/en, who is sincerely attached to the honor and interests 
of his country ; who believes that the war in which we are 
engaged is just and necessary; and that the crisis requires 
the sacrifice of every private consideration, which could 
stand in opposition to the public good. But after giving 
the subject the most mature consideration, I am perfectly 
convinced, that my retiring from the army is as compatible 
with the claims of patriotism, as it is with those of my fam 
ily, and a proper regard for my own feelings and honor. 

"I have no other motive for writing this letter, than to 
assure you, that my resignation was not produced by any 
diminution of the interest, which I have always taken in 
the success of your administration, or of respect and attach 
ment for your person. The former can only take place, 
when I forget the republican principles in which I have 
been educated; and the latter when I shall cease to regard 
those feelings, which must actuate every honest man, who is 
conscious of favors that it is out of his power to repay. 
"Allow me, etc., "HaiTison." 

"James Madison, Esq., President U. S. A." 

When Commodore Sinclair had made every preparation 
to sail from Erie on the expedition up the lakes, and was 
waiting only for more men in which he was still deficient, 
he received on the 1st of June, a dispatch from the secre 
tary of the navy, countermanding the intended enterprise. 
This determination of the government was produced by a 
l>elief, founded on the intelligence they had received, that 
the enemy were not making much exertion to re-establish 
their affairs in the northwest. The plan of our operations 
in that quarter, was, therefore, now to be substituted by 
that, which is developed in the following letter from the 
secretary of war to the President. 

"War Department, April 30th, 1814. 
"Sir So long as we had reason to believe, that the 
enemy intended, and was in a condition to re-establish him- 


self on the Thames, and open anew his intercourse with the 
Indian tribes of the west, it was no doubt proper to give 
our naval means a direction, which would best obstruct and 
defeat such movements and designs. An order was accord 
ingly given by the navy department, to employ the flotilla 
in securing the shores of the western lakes, destroying the 
enemy s trading establishment at St. Josephs, and in re 
capturing Fort Mackinaw. As, however, our last advices 
show that the enemy has no efficient force westward of Bur 
lington bay, and that he has suffered the season of easy 
and rapid transportation to escape him, it is evident that 
he means to strengthen himself on the peninsula, and make 
Fort Erie, which he is now repairing, the western extremity 
of his line of operations. Under this new state of things, 
it is respectfully suggested, whether another and a better 
use cannot be made of our flotilla. 

"In explaining myself it is necessary to promise, that 
the garrisons of Detroit and Maiden included, it will be 
practicable to assemble on the shores and navigable waters 
of Lake Erie, 5,000 regular troops, and 3,000 volunteers and 
militia, and that measures have been taken to produce this 
result by the 10th day of June next. Without, however, 
naval means, this force will be necessarily dispersed, and 
comparatively inoperative with their aid, competent to 
great objects. 

"Lake Erie on which our dominion is indisputable, fur 
nishes a way scarcely less convenient for approaching the 
heart of Upper Canada, than Lake Ontario. Eight or even 
six thousand men, landed in the bay between Point Aubino 
and Fort Erie, and operating either on the line of the 
Niagara, or more directly, if a more direct route is to be 
found, against the British post at the head of Burlington 
bay, would induce the enemy so to weaken his more eastern 
posts, as to bring them within our means at Sackett s Har 
bor and Plattsburg. 

"In choosing between this object, and that to which the 
flotilla is now destined, there cannot I think be much hesi 
tation. Our attack carried to Burlington and York, inter 
poses a barrier, which completely protects Maiden and 
Detroit, makes doubtful and hazardous the enemy s inter- 


course with the western Indians, reduces Mackinaw to a 
possession perfectly useless, renders probable the aban 
donment of Fort Niagara, and takes from the enemy half 
his motives for continuing the conflict on Lake Ontario. 
On the other hand, take Mackinaw, and what is gained but 
Mackinaw itself? If this plan is adopted, no time should 
be lost in countermanding the execution of the other. 

"I have the honor, etc., 

"J. Armstrong." 
"The President." 

The adoption of this plan for the campaign of 1814, 
was not, however, to produce a total abandonment of the 
expedition up the lakes. Commodore Sinclair was in 
structed to send a small detachment of the fleet in that 
direction, not exceeding three small vessels, to be accom 
panied by a co-operating force of 150 men from Detroit. 
He, accordingly dispatched that number under Lieutenant 
Woodhouse to Detroit, where he was to receive the land 
forces and then proceed up the strait. On the very day, 
however, that the order for abandoning the original expedi 
tion into the upper lakes, was received by Commodore 
Sinclair, the government determined again to carry it into 
execution in its full extent. This change was produced by 
news of a more alarming complexion, respecting the naval 
preparations of the enemy on Lake Huron; and, in part, 
perhaps, by a conviction, that the army of 8,000, to be 
drawn from the western country, would be found greatly 
deficient in the field. It is believed, that a report of great 
naval preparations being made on Lake Huron, was prop 
agated by the enemy on purpose to draw our flotilla in that 

However, Commodore Sinclair was informed by a letter 
from the navy department, dated on the 1st of June, that 
the expedition to Lake Huron, agreeable to the original 
design, must proceed without delay; and that the war office 


would direct Colonel Crogban to accompany him, with as 
many troops as he could accommodate on board his squad 
ron. The war department addressed Colonel Croghan as 
follows : 

"Information has been received, that the enemy is mak 
ing a new establishment at Mackedash on Lake Huron, and 
tli at from 500 to 1,000 seamen, mechanics, and others are 
now employed there, in the construction of armed vessels, 
etc. This establishment must be broken up. The safety 
of Detroit, the command of the lakes, the general security 
of that frontier depends upon it. Captain Sinclair will, 
accordingly receive orders to pass into Lake Huron, with 
part of the flotilla, and to carry such troops as may be 
destined to co-operate with the fleet, in the reduction of this 
and other places. His means of transportation will prob 
ably not accommodate more than 800 ; but the safest rule 
will be to embark as many as can be accommodated, taking 
yourself the command, and leaving behind you a competent 
force, to guard against Indian attacks, which at present are 
alone to be feared. If on reaching and reducing the place, 
it be found to be important, as I believe it will, it ought to 
be fortified and garrisoned, and become the left of a new 
line of operations, extending by the way of Lake Simcoe 
from Gloucester bay on Lake Huron, to York on Lake On 
tario. In this last view of the subject, supplies of cannon, 
ammunition, and provisions ought to be carried with yon. 

While on the subject of plans for the operations of the 
campaign in the present year, it will, perhaps be interesting 
to some readers, to see the following full exhibition of the 
present views of the government, by the pen of Mr. Secre 
tary Armstrong, in a letter to General Izard. 

"War Department, June 10th, 1814. 

"Sir I avail myself of the return of Colonel Snelling, 
to communicate to you the general objects of the campaign. 

"Captain Sinclair will repair to Detroit with a part of 
the fleet under his command. He will there embark Col- 


onel Croghan and as large a number of troops, with the 
necessary supplies of ammunition and provisions, as his 
vessels will accommodate. He will then enter Lake Huron, 
and proceed to Gloucester bay, where the troops will de 
bark, attack and carry the enemy s new establishment at 
Mackedash, fortify and garrison that place, and open a 
communication with General Brown, if another part of the 
plan, to be next detailed, shall have succeeded. This 
effected, the fleet will go on to the mouth of St. Josephs and 
to Mackinaw, etc. 

"What remains of the fleet at Buffalo, will be put under 
orders to transport General Brown s division to the Can 
ada shore. The place of landing will be selected by the 
discretion of the general, under the best information of 
which he may be possessed. Burlington Heights will be 
his first object. There he will fortify, and as soon as Com 
modore Chauncey will be in a condition to co-operate with 
him, say the first of July, he will proceed to attack the 
enemy s posts on the peninsula in succession, etc. 

"A number of armed gallies, such as those employed on 
Lake Champlain, will be immediately constructed at Sack- 
ett s Harbor, and while we have the ascendency on Lake 
Ontario, these will be pushed into the St. Lawrence, with 
orders to occupy the rapids of that river, and thus inter 
cept the water communication between Montreal and 
Kingston. The better to effect this object, a post will be 
established on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, strongly 
fortified and garrisoned by a competent force, say 1,500 
men, and sustained by the 1st division of the right. The 
moment for beginning this establishment will be that which 
opens to us the command of Lake Ontario. An engineer 
will be employed by the war department to select the site. 

"Another post on Lake Champlain, adapted to the pur 
poses of co-operating with and covering our fleet on that 
lake, and of excluding the enemy s flotilla therefrom, will 
be immediately selected, established, and garrisoned. This 
post you will please to select. "Armstrong." 

That portion only of these various plans, which was to 
be executed by Sinclair and Croghan on the upper lakes. 


is embraced within the limits prescribed for this history. 
As soon as Commodore Sinclair received his instructions 
on the 9th of June, he dispatched a messenger after Lieu 
tenant Woodhonse to arrest his progress with the detach 
ment under his command, and immediately prepared to sail 
with his whole squadron. He was soon able to proceed, 
and arrived at Detroit after the 20th of that month. Col 
onel Crogban had been making the most vigorous prepara 
tions on his part, and was ready to embark about the first 
of July. The expedition, however, was disapproved by 
him, and still more the manner in which the secretary had 
ordered it, having passed by General M Arthur, on whom 
the command of the district had devolved since the resig 
nation of General Harrison. The following is an extract 
from his letter to General M Arthur on this subject, dated 
on the 3rd of July : 

"You will have heard, that an expedition commanded 
by myself, against the enemy s posts on the upper lakes, is 
on the eve of sailing. The order for this expedition was 
issued by the secretary of war on the 2nd ultimo, most 
probably without advising you of the step. I could wish 
for many reasons, that this order had passed through the 
regular channel. This manner of interfering with the in 
ternal police of officers commanding districts, will sooner 
or later prove as destructive as it now appears unmilitary. 
To enable me to meet the wishes of the secretary of war, 
I was forced to take upon myself the responsibility of doing 
many things, to be justified only on the score of necessity. 
I ordered on from Lower Sandusky, a point without my 
limits, Captain Sanders and Lieutenant Scott of the 17th 
infantry, with their respective commands. I have also or 
ganized a company of Canadians, 120 in number, to act 
until the return of the expedition, pledging myself to have 
them paid at the rate of one dollar per day each. I hope 
you will approve this step. I am enabled by acting thus, 
to embark 500 regulars and 250 militia. My troops are 
all on board, and part of the fleet is now under way. I 


disapprove the expedition against Mackinaw, because if it 
be taken, we are not at all benefitted. Croghan." 

The fleet advanced but slowly through Lake St. Clair, 
which is so shallow, that there was some difficulty in find 
ing a channel deep enough for the largest vessels. It was 
the 12th, before they had passed Fort Gratiot, on the west 
side of the river St. Clair, at the entrance into Lake Huron. 
That fort had recently been built by Captain Gratiot, who 
had been sent up by Colonel Croghan on that service, with 
a few regulars early in May, and had afterwards been 
joined by Colonel Cotgrove with a small regiment of Ohio 
militia, on whom the completion and maintenance of the 
post had devolved. Colonel Cotgrove now embarked with a 
few of his men in the expedition under Croghan. 

Having entered Lake Huron, the fleet agreeably to the 
instructions of the government, steered directly for Macke- 
dash or Gloucester bay, which communicates through Lake 
Simcoe, with York the capital of Upper Canada. The en 
trance of the bay is closed by a chain of islands, through 
which our commodore had no pilot to conduct him, and the 
navigation is extremely difficult and dangerous. A whole 
week was spent in searching for a channel, through which 
the fleet could safely reach the establishment of the enemy, 
the destruction of which was the principle object of the ex 
pedition ; but no such channel could be found, and the com 
mander was at last compelled to proceed without visiting 
the place against which the government had principally 
sent him. This failure, however, was in reality unimport 
ant, for the enemy had no such establishment at Macke- 
dash, as the expedition was intended to destroy. 

The fleet now sailed to St. Josephs, where they arrived 
on the 20th of July. That post had been evacuated by the 
enemy, apparently several months ago. A detachment was 
sent on shore to burn the fort. Major Holmes was then 


detached with two small vessels under Lieutenant Turner 
of the navy, and a small force of regulars and artillery, to 
visit the strait of St. Marys which forms the communica 
tion between Lakes Huron and Superior, for the purpose 
of destroying a trading establishment belonging to the 
enemy at that place. The balance of the fleet steered for 
Mackinaw. Major Holmes reached his destination in two 
days, and immediately attacked the trading house of the 
northwest company. It was easily taken, for the agent and 
the Indians immediately fled into the wilderness. They 
had previously carried a great quantity of their goods into 
the woods, as soon as they had been apprised of our ap 
proach ; those goods, however, were soon found by our men. 
They were deposited within the limits of our territory, and 
were claimed as American property, by a fellow who had 
been a citizen and magistrate of the. Michigan territory, but 
was now in the service of the company, for whom he was 
thus endeavoring by false pretexts to save their property. 
Major Holmes, however, was not to be gulled in this man 
ner. A schooner was also found above the fort, which the 
enemy had abandoned and set on fire. She was saved from 
the flames by Lieutenant Turner, but in bringing her 
through the rapids, she bilged and was then voluntarily 

The fleet arrived off Mackinaw on the 26th of July, and 
some prisoners being taken, from whom information was 
obtained, that the schooner Nancy, a vessel which the 
enemy had kept on the upper lakes, was daily expected 
from the Natawasauga river, Commodore Sinclair immed 
iately stationed his vessels in a manner to intercept her. 
On the next day Colonel Croghan made a demonstration 
towards a landing on Round Island, about three-quarters 
of a mile from Mackinaw. This being observed by the 
enemy, two batteaux of British regulars, and twenty or 


thirty canoes filled with Indians were immediately sent 
to the island; and a number of other boats were held in 
readiness at the beach to reinforce this detachment, should 
it become necessary. As Commodore Sinclair did not 
think it prudent to station his vessels, so as to cut off the 
communication between the islands, on account of the 
difficult anchorage which he would have to occupy, the 
attempt to land was abandoned. From every appearance 
in these manoeuvres, and from the best information that 
could be obtained, it was believed, that the force of the 
enemy was at least 1,000 including Indians, and that he 
had determined on making an obstinate resistance. It 
was ascertained that the garrison had lately been rein 
forced by Colonel R. M Dowell, who had strengthened the 
fort and occupied the heights which command it, with a 
strong fortification. Colonel Croghan hence determined 
to postpone any further operations, until Major Holmes 
should arrive with the detachment under his command, 
which happened on the next day after the attempt to land. 
Colonel Croghan now resolved to effect a landing on 
the island of Mackinaw, and to seize some strong position 
and fortify it, from which he could annoy the fort. He 
was in hopes, that the enemy would be tempted to meet 
him and risk a battle in the open plain; or provoked by 
the annoyance, and anxious to terminate the seige, that he 
would be induced at last to make a sortie and attack our 
entrenchments. Without some fortunate occurrence of 
this kind, our commanders had but little hope of succeed 
ing against a superior force strongly fortified. A landing 
on the east end of the island would have been preferred, as 
being near the position of the enemy ; but the height of the 
bank was there so great, the batteries of the enemy being 
upwards of 100 feet above the water, that no material ad 
vantage could be derived from the guns of the fleet at that 


place. It was, therefore, determined to sail round the 
island and land on the west side, where the ground was so 
low that the debarkation could be effectually covered by 
the fleet. Having ascertained, that a strong position could 
be had for a camp in that quarter, the commodore sailed 
round the island in the night, and on the morning of the 
4th of August, a landing was effected without opposition. 
The troops were formed in two lines with a corps of re 
serve. The front was composed of the militia, 250 strong, 
formed in open order under Colonel Cotgrove. A battal 
ion of regulars 420 in number formed the second line un 
der Major Holmes. The reserve consisted of eighty regu 
lars and marines posted on the rear of the flanks. In this 
order our troops advanced towards a small field, about 
three-quarters of a mile from the place of landing; but be 
fore they had proceeded far, Colonel Croghan ascertained, 
that the enemy were waiting for us in order of battle, at 
the opposite side of the field, in the edge of the woods. A 
fire was soon afterwards opened upon us from a battery, 
covered by a temporary breastwork, in front of their line, 
which extended the whole length of the field. Colonel 
Cotgrove returned their fire with a 4-pounder, which was 
attached to his line, as soon as he could uncover it in the 
edge of the field; and Colonel Croghan now determined to 
push forward the battalion of regulars on the right under 
cover of the woods, and while Cotgrove amused the enemy 
in front, to turn their left flank with the regulars, or by a 
sudden charge break through it, and thus gain their rear. 
Major Holmes was gallantly advancing in the execution of 
this plan, when a fire from an advanced party of the enemy 
unfortunately killed him, and at the same moment wounded 
Captain Desha, the second in command. This unlucky 
occurrence produced a halt, and caused some confusion in 
the line; but Captain Desha, not being disabled by his 


wound, soon had his men again in motion ; and finding the 
woods impenetrably thick on the left of the enemy, he 
immediately charged them in front with great bravery, 
and drove them from their position. Being exposed to the 
fire of the enemy for some time in advancing upon them 
while they lay secure behind their breastwork, we neces 
sarily sustained some loss, which we had not an oppor 
tunity to retaliate. Though driven from their position, 
they still kept up a warm fire for some time in the woods, 
and particularly on our left, till they were driven in that 
quarter by a piece of artillery under Lieutenant Morgan. 
Being in complete possession of the ground, Colonel 
Croghan immediately examined the advantages of the 
position, and found it so weak, that he deemed it impru 
dent to attempt to occupy it for any length of time. The 
heights which he first intended to occupy, were yet two 
miles in advance, and were only to be reached by march 
ing through a thick wood, over ground with which he was 
entirely unacquainted. In performing such a march, the 
enemy would annoy him excessively, and perhaps, be able 
to defeat him, and even capture his whole force. He, 
therefore, prudently determined to retire to the fleet, and 
abandon an enterprise in which there was so little pros 
pect of final success. Preparatory for the retreat, the 
militia were formed on the route towards the shipping; 
and the battalion of regulars under Captain Sanders, the 
severity of his wound having forced Captain Desha to 
retire, was then ordered to fall back through the field in 
line, and as it reached the woods to file off to the rear 
through the militia by the heads of divisions, the intervals 
between which were to be covered on the rear by the militia, 
who retreated in line. In this order Colonel Croghan safe 
ly withdrew his forces, in the face of an enemy superior in 
numbers, and embarked them again without molestation. 


Two of our wounded, and the body of Major Holmes, were 
unfortunately left on the ground. Our total loss wa 
twelve killed and thirty-eight wounded. The loss of the 
enemy was much less. 

On the next morning after the battle, Colonel Croghan 
sent Captain Gratiot with a flag to the garrison, to ascer 
tain the situation of the wounded, who had been left on the 
island, and to request the body of Major Holmes. The 
following is an extract from the answer of Colonel 
M Dowell: 

"The wounded of the United States troops, left upon 
the field of battle yesterday, have been brought into the 
garrison, where they have received the required medical 
assistance, and every possible attention and comfort, which 
their respective cases required. I had flattered myself that 
you had been enabled to carry off the body of Major 
Holmes, and regret exceedingly to add, that in consequence 
of his being stripped by the Indians (a circumstance, 
however unpleasant to my feelings, it was out of my power 
to prevent) his rank was not discovered, which unfortu 
nately prevented his being interred with those military 
honors, which were so peculiarly due to his rank and 
character. I personally superintended the decent inter 
ment of the dead previous to my quitting the field. 

"I beg leave to send you some of our latest papers. I 
should have been happy to have accompanied them with 
such little luxuries as might have been acceptable in your 
situation ; but fruit and vegetables being the principal we 
have to offer, Captain Gratiot informs me you are already 
supplied with them." 

Such conduct and complaisance, as are indicated in 
this letter, would have been a great novelty in the British 
northwestern service, and would have signally illustrated 
the name of Colonel M Dowell, amid the host of British 
barbarians who served in that quarter, had not the letter 
been a piece of gross hypocrisy and misrepresentation. It 



was afterwards ascertained, that the Indians in this case, 
were permitted in the presence of the British officers, to 
eat the hearts of the Americans who fell in the battle, and 
that one of the prisoners was actually murdered by a mili 
tiaman, who was screened from punishment by the author 
ity of M Dowell. 

In his letter to the war department, Colonel Croghan 
bears the following testimony to the merits of his officers 
and men on this occasion. 

"This affair has cost us many valuable lives, and leaves 
us to lament the fall of that gallant officer, Major Holmes, 
whose character is so well known to the war department. 
Captain Vanhorne of the 19th, and Lieutenant Jackson 
of the 4th, both brave intrepid young officers, fell mortally 
wounded at the head of their respective commands. The 
conduct of all my officers merits my approbation. Cap 
tain Desha of the 24th, though severely wounded, continued 
with his command, till forced to retire, by faint-ness from 
loss of blood. Captains Sanders, Hawkins, and Sturgis, 
with every officer of that battalion, acted in the most exem 
plary manner. Ensign Bryan, acting adjutant of the 
battalion, actively forwarded the orders of the command 
ing officer. Lieutenants Hickman of the 28th, and Hyde 
of the marines, who commanded the reserve, merit my par 
ticular thanks for keeping their commands in readiness to 
meet any exigency. Lieutenant Morgan was active, and 
his two assistants, Lieutenant Pickett and Mr. Peters, de 
serve the name of good officers. The militia were wanting 
in no part of their duty. Colonel Cotgrove, his officers 
and soldiers, deserve the warmest approbation. My acting 
assistant adjutant-general, Captain N. H. Moore, of the 
28th, with volunteer adjutant M Comb, were prompt in 
delivering my orders. Captain Gratiot of the engineers, 
who volunteered as adjutant on the occasion gave me valu 
able assistance. Croghan." 

Every idea of continuing the operations against Macki 
naw was now abandoned ; and the commandants of the ex- 


pedition determined, to discharge the militia and send 
them home in some of the vessels, together with a portion 
of the regulars, who were to proceed down Lake Erie to 
join the army under General Brown. The Lawrence and 
Caledonia were dispatched on this business under Lieuten 
ant Dexter, and Colonel Croghan with Commodore Sinclair 
and the remainder of the fleet and regulars, proceeded 
towards the mouth of the Natawasauga river, in search of 
the schooner Nancy, which was freighted with supplies for 
Mackinaw. Immediately after the arrival of our flotilla off 
Mackinaw, Colonel M Dowell had sent an express, a single 
individual in a canoe, who made his escape in the night, 
to meet the Nancy and apprise her of the blockade, which 
induced her to return within the mouth of the Natawa 
sauga river. On the 13th, Commodore Sinclair anchored 
off its mouth, and the troops were immediately landed on 
the peninsula between the river and the lake, for the pur 
pose of forming an encampment. On reconnoitering up 
the river, a blockhouse was discovered with the schooner 
Nancy under its guns. As it was late in the evening and 
none but 4-pounders had yet been landed from the fleet, 
Colonel Croghan determined to wait till morning before 
he would commence an attack. 

Early in the morning Commodore Sinclair opened the 
fire of the fleet on the blockhouse; but a few hours ex 
perience proved, that the object was too distant, and too 
much covered by the timber on shore, to be much affected 
in this way. Two large howitzers were then landed, and 
placed in a position selected by Captain Gratiot. They 
were fired but a few times before a shell was thrown into 
the magazine of the blockhouse, which immediately blew 
it up, and set the schooner on fire. The enemy then fled 
precipitately, and Commodore Sinclair dispatched several 
boats to extinguish the flames of the vessel; but several 


explosions took place on board, which prevented the sailors 
from approaching her. A supply of flour with various 
other stores, sufficient to subsist the garrison of Mackinaw 
for six months was thus consumed. Before the explosion 
of the magazine, Lieutenant Worsley who commanded the 
enemy, resisted the attack with great spirit; and the In 
dians occasionally fired at our men from the opposite side 
of the river, w r hich was a narrow stream, with a forest al 
most impenetrable on its banks. Several articles of prop 
erty were found on the premises, and among them the desk 
of Lieutenant Worsley with all his papers, from the con 
tents of which it appeared, that the garrison at Mackinaw 
were so scarce of provisions, that the supplies on board the 
Nancy were deemed of the utmost importance. Two 24- 
pounders were taken in the blockhouse, together with a 
6-pounder, and a new boat large enough to carry a 24- 
pound carronade w r as found in the river. 

The communication from York into Lake Huron, lies 
through Lake Simcoe and the Natawasauga river, the 
mouth of which is immediately below Mackedash, or 
Gloucester bay, on which Colonel Croghan had received 
discretionary instructions to establish a post, with a view 
to form a new line of operations from that place to York, 
as soon as the enemy could be driven from all the penin 
sula above such a line. The colonel was not of the opinion, 
however, that it would be advisable at this time to establish 
such a post; for the distance to York was too short, and 
the communication so easy, that while the latter remained 
in the possession of the enemy, they would be able to seize 
a favorable moment and capture any garrison he could 
establish without much difficulty. He determined, how 
ever, to leave a part of the squadron at the mouth of the 
river, to cut off the communication between York and 
Mackinaw during the present season. As the garrison of 


Mackinaw were already short of provisions, and their ex 
pected supply in the Nancy was now destroyed, it was 
not doubted but that a blockade of the pass through which 
their supplies must be brought, until its navigation was 
closed by the winter season, would certainly produce the 
evacuation or surrender of Mackinaw. Lieutenant Turner 
was therefore left at this place with two of the smaller 
vessels, and with instructions to keep up a rigid blockade 
of the river, not suffering a boat nor canoe to pass, until 
the inclemency of the season should render it unsafe to 
remain any longer. Trees were felled into the river to 
interrupt its navigation ; and the lieutenant was cautioned 
to watch the coast for some distance on both sides, and to 
guard particularly against a surprise. 

The troops being again embarked, the fleet sailed down 
the lake for Fort Gratiot; but it was overtaken by a 
heavy, gale, by which it was greatly endangered. All the 
boats, including the commodore s launch, and the new 
gun boat lately taken from the enemy, were entirely lost; 
and the Niagara with 450 men on board was for several 
hours in the most imminent danger. The commodore was 
compelled to throw some of his guns overboard, and at 
last was saved by a sudden change of the wind. 

"There is nothing," says Commodore Sinclair, "like an 
chorage in Lake Huron, except in the mouths of rivers, 
the whole coast being a steep perpendicular rock. In this 
extremely dangerous navigation, entirely unknown to our 
pilots except direct to Mackinaw I have several times been 
in danger of total loss, by suddenly falling from no sound 
ing into three fathom water, and twice into less over a 
craggy rock. Those dangers might be avoided from the 
transparency of the water, were it not for the continued 
thick fogs, which prevail almost as constantly as on the 
Grand Bank. 


On the 21st of August they reached Fort Gratiot, and 
in two days more arrived at Detroit. Without any un 
necessary delay at that place, Commodore Sinclair pro 
ceeded to Erie, and thence sent several of his vessels to 
Buffalo, to render any assistance which might be practic 
able to the army of General Brown at that time besieging 
Fort Erie. 

Lieutenant Turner continued to blockade the mouth 
of the river agreeably to his instructions, for a week or 
more after the departure of the fleet and then made several 
excursions in one of his vessels, as he had been authoiized 
to do, among the islands along the northwest coast of the 
lake. Lieutenant W 7 orsley and the crew of the Nancy, 
about twenty in number, after their escape from the block 
house, had fortunately found a boat on the lake shore, 
probably one of ours which had been lost in the storm, 
in which they crossed the lake in safety to Mackinaw. 
Colonel M Dowell in the mean time had closely watched 
the movements of the fleet under Commodore Sinclair, and 
Avas well apprised of the situation and objects of the de 
tachment under Turner. On the arrival of Worsley at 
Mackinaw, an expedition was therefore immediately plan 
ned, and the execution entrusted to him, for the capture 
of that detachment. To open the communication with 
York immediately, was an object of so much importance, 
that the most intrepid and hazardous exertions would be 
made to effect it. Lieutenant Worsley with his marines 
and sixty or seventy men from the Newfoundland regiment, 
accordingly embarked at Mackinaw on the first of Septem 
ber, in four batteaux each commanded by a lieutenant. 
Having received information, that one of our vessels, the 
Tigress, was then lying off St. Josephs, near a place 
called the Detour, he steered directly for that place and 
arrived near it on the evening of the third. A reconnoiter- 


ing party was sent in advance, by which the precise situa 
tion of the Tigress was ascertained. The night came on 
cloudy and dark, and about nine o clock Lieutenant Wors- 
ley brought up his batteaux against her with the utmost 
silence. Her commander, sailing master, Champlain, did 
not discover them until they had arrived within a few yards 
of his vessel. He then called all his men to their quarters, 
and for a considerable time repelled the attempts of the 
enemy to board, until himself and all his officers being 
wounded, and his men greatly overpowered by numbers, he 
was compelled to give up the contest. The Tigress carried 
a twenty-four-pounder, and had thirty men on board. Three 
of her men were killed and several more wounded the 
enemy had two killed and seven or eight wounded. Dick- 
son, the celebrated emissary of the British among the 
Indians, was a volunteer under Worsley in this affair. 

Next day Lieutenant Worsley sailed down the lake in 
the Tigress to look for the Scorpion, the vessel in which 
Lieutenant Turner was embarked. The latter carried a 
long twelve in addition to her twenty-four-pounder; yet 
Worsley determined to risk an attack upon her in the Tig 
ress alone. Having described her on the evening of the 
fifth he came to anchor at a considerable distance from her 
without passing signals, it being then too late to make an 
attack before night, in which he did not wish to engage 
her. Early in the morning he got under way, and ran down 
along side of the Scorpion, when there were but four or 
five men on deck. As he came up close, he fired into her, 
and immediately boarded her, before the crew could get 
to their quarters, so as to make an efficient resistance. 
And thus Lieutenant Turner and his two gunboats fell an 
easy prey into the hands of the enemy, both being captured 
by surprise and without much fighting. In a few days 
Lieutenant Worsley arrived in triumph at Mackinaw, to 


the great joy of the allied forces of that place. To them it 
was an important victory, for it opened at once their com 
munication with York, and furnished them vessels for the 
safe transportation of supplies across the lake. The Brit 
ish also made it a very great affair on paper when offi 
cially announced by Adjutant-General Baynes he stated 
that the captured vessels "had crews of three hundred men 
each." He only exaggerated 570 in stating the forces of 
two gunboats such is the royal contempt for truth, which 
is constantly observed in the British officials. In this in 
stance, however, the exaggeration was excusable ; for John 
Bull was in great need of something to raise his spirits, 
after the severe drubbings he had recently received on the 
Niagara frontier and at Plattsburg. 

And thus terminated the operations on the upper lakes 
with the results decidedly in favor of the enemy. Colonel 
Croghan and Commodore Sinclair, however, conducted the 
expedition, as far as it depended on them, with great pru 
dence, skill, and bravery, effecting every thing which it was 
possible to effect with the forces under their command ; and 
had Lieutenant Turner managed the business on which he 
was left, with equal prudence and good fortune, the result 
of the whole would have been greatly in our favor ; for the 
communication with Mackinaw being cut off, that post 
must have fallen in the winter, or early in the spring, for 
the want of adequate supplies. 

It is now time we should notice a treaty with the In 
dians, which was negotiated about the time Colonel Crog 
han sailed on his expedition from Detroit. 

Some time in June, the President constituted a com 
mission to treat with the northwestern Indians at Green 
ville; it consisted of General Harrison, Governor Shelby, 
and Colonel Johnson. The two latter declined the appoint 
ment and Generals Cass and Adair were nominated to sue- 


ceed them, but at a period too late for the latter to attend. 
The treaty was expected to commence on the twentieth of 
June ; and at that time the Indians began to assemble and 
continued to arrive until the first of July. The greater 
part of those tribes who had been engaged in the war. 
made their appearance at the council, or were amply rep 
resented by their deputies. A large portion of the Potawat- 
amies, Winebagoes, and Chippewas, however, preferred to 
adhere to the British and continued hostile. The whole 
number present, men, women, and children, was about 
4,000 of whom not more than a fourth were warriors. 
The negotiation was opened early in July, and eventuated 
about the middle of that month, in a renewal of the treaty 
of Greenville, a treaty concluded at the same place with 
General Wayne in 1895; and an engagement on the part 
of the Indians, to take up the tomahawk against the Brit 
ish. To the latter condition two of the Miami chiefs ob 
jected. They were then reminded that at the commence 
ment of the war the American government had used its 
best endeavors to prevail upon them to remain neutral ; and 
as they had then refused to do so, and had joined the Brit 
ish, they could not now be indulged in an equivocal course. 
They at last agreed to engage on our side ; and the treaty 
being signed, the assemblage broke up in a war dance. A 
considerable portion of the warriors were detained, till the 
pleasure of the war department was known, in relation to 
their employment in our service. Some of them were then 
carried to Detroit by Governor Cass, with a view to em 
ploy them against the enemy, should a suitable opportunity 

The pacification thus confirmed at Greenville did not, 
however, entirely relieve us from Indian hostility, as we 
have already seen in detailing the occurrences of the ex 
pedition under Croghan. The savages residing to the 


northwest beyond Lakes Huron and Michigan, and those 
still more westwardly beyond the Illinois River who had 
not felt the force of our arms, and who were still accessible 
to the intrigues of the British from their posts on Lake 
Huron, continued to oppose us wherever they had an op 
portunity to strike. Even many of those residing within 
the Michigan territory, on the borders of Lakes Huron and 
Michigan, also continued hostile. 

After their defeat on the Thames, a number of their 
chiefs had visited Quebec, where they received the most con 
ciliating treatment, and in return gave assurance in their 
speeches to the governor-general that the British might 
still rely on their friendship. Dickson was soon after 
wards sent up, loaded with presents for them, and in 
structed to carry his intrigues to the westward. He went 
to Mackinaw in the winter and thence among the western 
Indians about Prairie du Chien, from which place he 
brought reinforcements for the defense of Mackinaw in the 
spring. Governor Edwards being appraised that he was 
among the Indians in that quarter, was again exceedingly 
alarmed for the safety of his territory; but the British 
emissary once more disappointed him, and conducted his 
recruits to a more northern theatre. 

Early in the spring Governor Clarke, of the Missouri 
territory, was instructed by the War Department, to as 
cend the Mississippi to Prairie du Chien and establish a 
garrison at that place. He left St. Louis about the first 
of May, and proceeded up the river in several armed boats 
with 200 men under Captains Yeiser and Sullivan and 
Lieutenant Perkins. He reached his destination without 
difficulty, all the Indians he met being friendly, or at least 
not disposed to engage him. Captain Drace, of the Brit 
ish service, had been posted at the village of Prairie clu 
Chien with an inconsiderable corps, with which he fled on 


the approach of Governor Clarke. The Indians, most dis 
posed to fight, had gone about a month before with Dick- 
son to Mackinaw, and those who remained would not agree 
to fight for Draco. The inhabitants of the village, mostly 
French people, also fled from their homes, but were soon 
induced to return. Lieutenant Perkins with sixty regulars 
took possession of the house formerly occupied by the Brit 
ish Mackinaw company, and immediately began to build 
a fort, about 200 yards from the bank of the river, which 
was called Fort Shelby. As soon as the post was toler 
ably strengthened, Governor Clarke returned to St. Louis, 
leaving Captains Yeiser and Sullivan with a gunboat and 
armed barge and a crew of 100 men to co-operate with 
Lieutenant Perkins in maintaining the post. Captain Sul 
livan s company in the barge, and a part of the crew be 
longing to the gunboat, were militia w r ho had engaged 
only for sixty days. When their time expired they re 
turned home in the barge, leaving about 100 men at the 
Prairie. No indications of hostility had yet appeared ; but 
early in July, Lieutenant Perkins was informed that prep 
arations for an attack were in progress among the In 

As soon as the British at Mackinaw received intelli 
gence, that Governor Clarke had occupied the post of 
Prairie du Chien, Colonel M Dowell determined to send an 
expedition against it. He was uncertain at that time, 
whether an attack would be made on his own post, and ven 
tured to detach Colonel M Kay with twelve men, and some 
light pieces of artillery on this enterprise. They proceeded 
in boats by the way of Green Bay, and having dragged their 
watercraft and artillery across the portage to the Ouiscon- 
sin River, they embarked again and continued their voy 
age down that river for Fort Shelby. On their way they 
were able to engage upwards "of a thousand Indians in the 


enterprise. With this force the colonel made his appear 
ance before the fort about the middle of July. Lieutenant 
Perkins had made every practicable arrangement for for 
midable resistance. Captain Yeiser had anchored the gun 
boat in the river opposite to the fort. As soon as Colonel 
M Kay s forces had surrounded the fort, and he had planted 
his artillery in a situation to play upon the gunboat, he 
sent in a flag to demand a surrender. This was promptly 
refused by Lieutenant Perkins, who assured his adversary 
that he was prepared to defend himself to the last ex 

A general attack now commenced with the artillery and 
small arms, the former being directed at the gunboat, but 
at so great a distance that no execution was done. Having 
changed their position, they compelled Captain Yeiser to 
change his also, by going higher up the river, opposite the 
upper end of the village. From a contiguous island which 
was thickly covered with timber, and from the houses of 
the village, the Indians now annoyed his crew in safety. 
Hence he was induced to retreat down the river, which he 
effected under a heavy fire on both sides for several miles. 
His loss, however, was very inconsiderable. 

Lieutenant Perkins was now left with sixty regulars to 
oppose the combined forces of the enemy, amounting at 
least to 1,200 men. A brisk fire was kept up on both sides, 
but with very little effect, as the garrisons were protected 
by their walls, and the enemy by the houses in the village. 
The British began to approach the fort by regular en 
trenchments, and in two or three days had made very con 
siderable progress, having reached within 150 yards of the 
pickets. Ammunition by this time had also become very 
scarce in the garrison. Lieutenant Perkins was hence in 
duced to call a council of his officers to consult on their 
critical situation. Satisfied that it would be impossible to 


maintain the post much longer, a capitulation was advised 
under a belief that the chance to escape a massacre was 
better if they surrendered than it would be if they were 
captured. A flag was accordingly sent to Colonel M Kay, 
with whom the terms of capitulation were soon settled. He 
agreed that private property should be respected, that the 
Americans should be protected against the Indians, and 
that they should be sent down the river to the nearest 
American post, not to serve till regularly exchanged. How 
ever incredible it may appear to our readers, we can as 
sure them that these terms were honorably fulfilled on the 
part of Colonel M Kay. Though a British officer, and acting 
in concert as usual with a great body of Indians, yet he 
would not suffer them, however anxious they might be to 
murder a single prisoner, nor to maltreat them in any man 
ner. With a degree of firmness and humanity, which would 
have been honorable to a Kentuckian, he restrained the 
savages and fulfilled his engagements. With pleasure we 
record the solitary instance. 

After Governor Clarke had arrived at home, General 
Howard, who had just returned to St. Louis from a visit to 
Kentucky, thought it advisable to send up a reinforcement 
with supplies to the garrison at Fort Shelby. Lieutenant 
Campbell with forty-three regulars and sixty-six rangers 
under the command of two other subaltern officers, were 
accordingly embarked in three boats, with a fourth in com 
pany belonging to the contractor s department, and includ 
ing in the whole upwards of one hundred and thirty souls. 
When they had reached near the head of the rapids, and 
not expecting any hostility, were at a considerable distance 
apart, a furious attack was made by the Indians on the near- 
boat under Lieutenant Campbell, which was then grounded 
on a lee shore. As soon as the others were appraised of 
the attack, they came down to her assistance and gallantly 


defended themselves for several hours. But by this time 
five or six hundred savages had collected on the banks and 
concealed themselves behind trees and other objects from 
which they could fire at the boats in safety. The boat 
first attacked had also taken fire and was abandoned by her 
crew. Under these circumstances a retreat was com 
menced, after sustaining a loss in the whole of twelve 
killed and twenty or thirty wounded. 

At the time of the battle, Captain Yeiser in the gunboat 
from Fort Shelby, had arrived at the head of the rapids 
where he met the contractor s boat still in advance, and was 
fired on by the Indians while lying at anchor near the shore 
in consequence of an unfavorable wind. The attack of the 
Indians induced him to haul off and anchor beyond the 
reach of their small arms, where he lay till the next morn 
ing. Having in the meantime ascertained the defeat of the 
other boats, he now proceeded down the river also, and ar 
rived soon after them at St. Louis. And thus terminated 
in defeat the expedition to Prairie du Chien, which was 
commenced with flattering prospects of success. It failed 
through the inadequacy of our resources and chiefly for 
the want of men the great cause of all our failures in the 
war. Wherever the American forces had an equal chance, 
in point of numbers and equipment, the victory was al 
most invariably on their side. In a few instances, the for 
tune of the way was turned against us by the base coward 
ice or gross stupidity of an unworthy commander; but in 
general when the difficulty of bringing an adequate num 
ber of men into the field had been surmounted, heaven 
crowned the invincible bravery of the freeborn American 
and the justice of his cause with success. 

After the expedition of Prairie du Chien had failed, the 
Indians continued to commit depredations on the frontiers 
of our territories. Success encouraged and rendered them 


insolent and daring. To keep them in check, several small 
expeditions were sent out against them, on the Missouri 
and Mississippi rivers, and several skirmishes were fought 
with them, in which a good many lives were lost on both 
sides. It would be too tedious to enter into details we, 
therefore, hasten to the mounted expedition, led into Upper 
Canada by General M Arthur in the fall of this year, with 
which the operations of the war in the northwest were fin 
ally closed. 

It being conclusively ascertained by the treaty of 
Greenville that the Potawatamies residing on the borders 
of Lake Michigan had determined to adhere to the British, 
our government immediately resolved to send an expedition 
to chastise them into peace. The following order was there 
fore issued to General M ? Arthur from the War Department 
on the second of August : 

"Sir: The President has determined to carry an ex 
pedition of mounted men and friendly Indians against the 
Potawatamie tribe inhabiting the country on both sides 
of Lake Michigan. It is his wish also, that you should 
take command of the expedition. With these views, you 
are authorized to raise a body of 1,000 mounted men, 
within the district now under your command. The auxili 
ary Indian force will be seen in the enclosed extract of a 
letter from Generals Harrison and Cass. Besides destroy 
ing the town and crops of this hostile tribe, it is desirable 
to establish a post and raise one or more blockhouses at 
such places near the mouth of St. Josephs as may be best 
calculated for covering during the winter, the whole or 
a part of the fleet under the command of Commodore Sin- 
cl air . Armst r on g. 

The latter part of the order was penned in the expecta 
tion that Colonel Croghan would succeed completely in his 
expedition on Lake Huron. As soon as General M ? Arthur 
received the order, he called on the governors of Ohio and 


Kentucky to furnish 500 mounted men each to rendezvous 
at Urbana on the twentieth of September. It was the 
twentieth of August before the requisition was received by 
the governor of Kentucky, but such was the patriotism 
and zeal of that State that seven volunteer companies were 
raised and marched to the place of rendezvous in due time. 
Similar exertions were attended with equal success in the 
State of Ohio. Their destination was still left to conjec 
ture. In the meantime the failure of the expedition under 
Croghan was ascertained; and General M ? Arthur then de 
termined to abandon that, which he was directed to lead 
against the Indians. An order for disbanding the volun 
teer militia was accordingly issued on the seventeenth of 
August. Those from Kentucky, however, forming a bat 
talion under the command of Major Peter Dudley, contin 
ued their march and reached Urbana on the twentieth, 
without having received the order; and on the same day 
General M Arthur received a dispatch from Governor Cass, 
at Detroit, informing him that the Indians had committed 
several murders in the vicinity of that place, and request 
ing assistance to chastise them. The general was induced 
by these occurrences to countermand his order for disband 
ing the volunteers, and sent expresses in different direc 
tions to recall the Ohio companies which had returned 
home. Many of them had dispersed, and having given up 
the idea of going, could not be induced to come forward 
again. A small battalion of three companies, and some 
fragments of companies, were all that appeared; so that 
the whole force collected did not exceed 640 men, of whom 
about two-thirds were Kentuckians. In a few days the 
whole was properly organized and prepared to march. 
Major Charles S. Todd, assistant inspector general of the 
United States Army, accompanied the detachment as ad 
jutant general, and Captain William Bradford, of the 17th, 


as brigade major both gallant young officers, zealously 
devoted to the cause of their country. 

On the 28th they arrived in the open plains above 
Upper Sandusky, where a portion of the day was spent by 
Major Todd and Adjutants Berry and Wood in training 
the troops. On the next day the detachment was left under 
Major Todd with orf^rs to move down slowly below San- 
dusky, occasionally Alining the men, while General M Ar- 
thur, Captain Bradford, and Doctor Turner visited old 
Tahe, the Wyandot sachem, to procure some of his war 
riors for the expedition. That venerable chief agreed that 
as many of his young men as could be mounted might join 
our standard, and seventy-four Shawanese, Delawares, 
Wyandots, etc., were accordingly equipped under their 
chiefs Lewis, Wolf, and Civil John. 

Some delay having taken place about Lower Sandusky 
for the purpose of resting the horses, etc., it was on the 
fifth of October before the detachment arrived at the river 
Raisin. In the meantime, General W Arthur had twice re 
ceived dispatches from Governor Cass informing him that 
the Indians continued to commit depredations and murders 
in the vicinity of Detroit. At the river Raisin the general 
was informed by some of the inhabitants that a body of 
300 or 400 Potawatamies were assembled at an old trading 
house on the river Huron, about forty-five miles distant, 
near which it was said there was a village of that tribe. 
With a view to attack them and destroy the village the de 
tachment was marched up the river Raisin some distance 
and then conducted across the country to the place where 
the enemy was expected ; but there was no appearance at 
the old trading house, of any large number of Indians in 
that quarter ; and on searching up the river no village could 
be found. Some prisoners were captured, consisting chiefly 
of squaws, who contradicted the statements received at the 


river Raisin. The general then marched his men directly 
towards Detroit, at which place he arrived on the ninth of 

The critical situation of the army under General Brown 
at Fort Erie now induced General M Arthur to change his 
destination and march towards Burlington Heights at the 
head of Lake Ontario, with a vieW;;to form a junction in 
his favor, by destroying the mills >i the neighborhood of 
Grand River, from which General Drummond drew the 
principal support of his troops. To accomplish such an 
enterprise, secrecy and despatch were required ; but before 
it could be commenced, it was necessary to refresh the 
horses by a few days rest. In the meantime, to prevent in 
telligence of the intended movement from being conveyed 
to the British by traitorous citizens of Detroit, and to pre 
vent even the apprehension of such an enterprise from be 
ing excited in the enemy, the real object was concealed and 
a report was circulated as a secret, that an expedition was 
to be carried against an Indian village on the Saganaw 
River, which empties into Lake Huron on the southward 
side, about 120 miles above Detroit. In a general order 
the troops were entreated "to take special care of their 
horses, and to prepare for a short, rapid, and it is believed 
a brilliant expedition one which may be attended with 
some danger, and may require all their fortitude to produce 
a successful issue." 

On the twenty-second, the preparations for the enter 
prise were deemed sufficient, and on that day five pieces 
of artillery were sent up the river in boats, under the pre 
tense that they were intended to batter a fortification 
which the Indians had erected on the Saganaw River. 
The Kentucky battalion also marched up the west side 
of the river Detroit, and on the next day was followed by 
the other, under the command of Captain M Cormick of 


the rangers, who had joined the expedition with his com 
pany and a few Michigan volunteers. The whole force 
was now estimated at 720 men. On the twenty-sixth, 
after encountering many difficulties in crossing swamps, 
rivers, and arms of Lake St. Clair, the whole detachment 
arrived about six miles up the river St. Clair, where the 
general intended <* cross into Canada and proceed direct 
on his enterprise l The object of the expedition was now 
explained to the troops, together with the necessity of 
taking this route, to prevent intelligence of their march 
from being sent to the enemy by their friends in Detroit 
and Sandwich. The boats with the artillery having ar 
rived, the troops proceeded to cross the strait, which was 
completed next morning; and on the same day they 
marched up to the Belldoon settlement, on the north side 
of Bear Creek. This settlement is a little colony of sev 
enty-five Scotch families, which was planted here in 1806 
by Lord Selkirk. They were supplied with horses and a 
stock of merino sheep which rapidly increased, while the 
people and horses were gradually diminishing. The boats 
having ascended Bear Creek, and set the troops across it 
at this place were now dismissed and returned home with 
the artillery, one only being retained to carry the am 
munition up the creek; and that one was unfortunately 
lost on the following day. 

The detachment now marched rapidly on their way 
towards the Moravian town, Delaware, etc., through 
which they intended to pass. Above the Moravian town 
the front guard fortunately captured a British sergeant, 
who was proceeding with intelligence of the expedition 
directly to Burlington Heights. A detachment of the 
rangers was then sent forward under Lieutenant Ray- 
burn, to get in the rear of Delaware and guard every 
pass to prevent intelligence from being sent forward from 


that place; which he effectually accomplished. When the 
troops reached the lower end of the Delaware settlement, 
where it became necessary to cross the Thames to the 
north side, they were detained a considerable portion of 
two days in effecting its passage, which they accom 
plished with great difficulty in consequence of its being 
raised by late rains. 

On the fourth of November, the^detachment entered 
the village of Oxford, very much to the astonishment of 
the inhabitants, who had received no credible information 
of its approach. The general promised the inhabitants 
protection, and paroled the militia of the place after hav 
ing disarmed them. He threatened destruction, however, 
to the property of any person who should send forward 
intelligence of his advance. But two militia men, who 
had been paroled, were not to be deterred in this way 
from carrying the news to Burford, Avliere a body of the 
militia had collected and were constructing a breastwork. 
The escape of those fellows from Oxford being ascer 
tained, their property was instantly destroyed agreeably 
to promise. On the fifth the troops proceeded to Bur- 
ford, from which the militia fled precipitately a few hours 
before their arrival, spreading consternation through the 
country. The inhabitants believed that General M Ar- 
thur had a force of 2,000 men, at least; for they could not 
conceive that he would dare to venture so far into their 
country with less than that number. 

The general had information that a body of militia 
were collecting to oppose him at Malcolm s Mill, about 
twelve miles from Burford; but he determined to push 
on for Burlington without paying any attention to them. 
When he arrived near the crossing of Grand River with 
these views, he was informed that a force of some Indians, 
militia, and dragoons, were posted on the opposite heights 


to contest the passage of the river; and as soon as the 
advance of the rangers entered the open ground on the 
bank of that stream, the enemy began to fire upon them 
from the opposite side. Some of our men crept up be 
hind the ferry house and returned the fire with so much 
effect that the Indians were compelled to fall back. Dur 
ing the skirmish General M Arthur was consulting what 
course should be taken, when a prisoner was fortunately 
captured from whom he ascertained that Major Muir had 
crossed the river that morning on his way from Kentucky 
to join the British army, having recently been exchanged 
and sent home after his capture on the Thames ; and that 
a large body of Indians with some regulars and three 
pieces of artillery were stationed at a very dangerous de 
file on the road to Burlington, and but a few miles from 
the river. The distance to Burlington was twenty-five 
miles. This information combined with the difficulty of 
crossing the river, determined the general to turn down 
the Long Point road for the purpose of attacking the 
militia at Malcolm s Mill. The project of joining Gen 
eral Brown was now obviously visionary, and was left 
entirely out of his calculations. A plan was conceived 
to mask his design from the enemy at Grand River. Only 
a few of his troops had come up so close to the river as to 
be seen from the opposite side; the balance remained con 
cealed by the woods in the rear. Captain Wickliffe was 
therefore directed to remain on the ground with 100 men, 
and to make as great a show of encamping as possible, 
while the main body was secretly marched off towards 
Malcolm s mill, in which direction he was to pursue them, 
after remaining two hours at Grand River. This manoeu 
vre had the desired effect. A party of the men left on 
the ground kept up a galling and efficient fire on the In 
dians from the ferry house, while the other pretended to 


be forming an encampment, by which means the enemy 
were kept from pursuing and liarrassing the main body. 
General W Arthur arrived in sight of the enemy near 
Malcolm s Mill about four o clock in the evening. They 
were about 550 strong; under the command of Colonels 
Ryason and Bostwick; and were well posted in a forti 
fied camp on a hill, before which there was a deep and 
rapid creek about 120 yards from their breastwork. The 
mill pond effectually secured their left, and in front the 
only chance to cross was on the frame of a narrow bridge 
from which the planks had been torn. From two prison 
ers, who had been taken, the force of the enemy was ascer 
tained, together with the practicability of fording the 
creek some distance below. The detachment was now 
dismounted, and their horses placed in the rear under 
the protection of a guard. The general determined to 
cross the creek below with the Ohio battalion, surround 
the camp of the enemy, and attack it in the rear; while 
Major Dudley crossed with the Kentuckians on the bridge 
and attacked it in front at the same moment. The Ohio 
battalion was accordingly marched off by the rear, un 
discovered by the enemy, and taking a circuit through the 
woods arrived at the creek, where it still appeared too 
deep to be forded. General M Arthur being at the head 
of the line on foot, immediately plunged into the water, 
which in a few steps came up to his shoulders, and con 
vinced him that his men could not cross there and keep 
their ammunition dry. Further down a pile of driftwood 
was discovered, which reached quite across the stream, 
and on that the battalion soon crossed in safety. In a 
few minutes more the rear of the enemy was gained, 
where he had but slightly fortified his camp. Our In 
dians had crossed with the general and as soon as they 
came in sight of the enemy they raised their usual hideous 


yell which produced such a panic in the Canadians that 
the whole of them fled in confusion at the first fire. On 
hearing the approach of our troops in the rear, the Ken- 
tuckians crossed the bridge with the utmost expedition to 
attack the enemy in front; but before this could be ef 
fected and the breastwork gained, there was no enemy to 
be seen. General M ? Arthur pursued them, and captured 
a considerable number, but their escape was favored by 
the approach of the night. Their total loss was one cap 
tain and seventeen privates killed and nine privates 
wounded who were taken three captains, five subalterns, 
and 123 privates taken prisoners. General M ? Arthur lost 
one killed and six wounded. 

The detachment recrossed the creek and encamped 
near it for the night, taking care to place out strong pick 
ets. The wounded of the enemy were brought to camp 
and well attended by our surgeons. In the morning Cap 
tain Murray was sent two miles back to burn a mill which 
he promptly accomplished; and Malcolm s Mill being set 
on fire the march was commenced at eight o clock in pur 
suit of the enemy towards Dover. At Savareen s Mill, 
sixty-five of the militia, who had again collected after 
their dispersion last night, surrendered themselves and 
were paroled. All their arms were destroyed and the mill 
burnt. In the evening the detachment encamped in the 
neighborhood of Dover, having captured and paroled 
thirty more of the militia, and burnt two other merchant 
mills, which w r ere employed in manufacturing flour for 
the army under Druinmond. The detachment had drawn 
no flour until this day since they left Beldoon. 

Authentic information was now received that General 
Izard had abandoned Fort Erie and retired to Buffalo. 
The situation of the detachment had become extremely 
critical. It was now 225 miles within the enemv s coun- 


try, and was entirely destitute of provisions for the men 
and forage for the horses. It might also be expected that 
the enemy would make the most vigorous exertions to ef 
fect its destruction. Such circumstances were calculated 
to dampen the ardor of the most undaunted spirits ; but the 
volunteers under M Arthur were possessed of too much 
firmness and enterprise to be discouraged by common 
difficulties and dangers. A retrogade movement was now 
made, leaving Dover a short distance on the left, and 
keeping parallel with the shore of Lake Erie. The coun 
try was barren and destitute of resources. A few sheep 
furnished a scanty subsistence for the troops. A journey 
of eighteen miles was performed this day from the en 
campment near Dover. In the meantime the enemy was 
in pursuit, and this night a regiment of 1,100 regulars 
encamped on the ground which was occupied last night 
by the mounted volunteers. The pursuit, however, was 
continued no further. 

On the twelfth, the troops arrived, after a fatiguing 
march through the settlements of the enemy and a por 
tion of wilderness at the river Thames opposite an old 
Indian village called Muncey town, where rafts were con 
structed and the sick placed upon them in the care of the 
Indians. The march was again resumed, and on the seven 
teenth, the troops reached Sandwich, where they were 
honorably discharged on the eighteenth and returned 
home. And thus terminated an expedition which was not 
surpassed during the war in the boldness of its design, 
and the address with which it was conducted. It was at 
tended with the loss of one man only on our part, while 
that of the enemy was considerable in men, as well as in 
the injury done to its resources. It was with great diffi- 
cultv that General Drummond could subsist his troops 


with the aid of all the mills in his vicinity; and without 
them, his difficulties must have been greatly increased. 

General M Arthur who conceived and conducted the 
expedition, displayed great bravery and military skill. 
No one could have managed his resources with more pru 
dence and effect. His officers and men were also entitled 
to the praises and gratitude of the country, for their 
firmness in danger and the cheerfulness and fortitude 
with which they obeyed his orders and endured the great 
est hardships. Major Todd was particularly distinguished. 

"I have the support of all the troops", says General 
M Arthur, "in assuring you that to the military talents, 
activity, and intelligence of Major Todd, who acted as my 
adjutant general, much of the fortunate progress and is 
sue of the expedition is attributable; and I cheerfully 
embrace this occasion to acknowledge the important serv 
ices which he has at all times rendered me whilst in com 
mand of the district. His various merits justly entitle 
him to the notice of the government. M Arthur." 

Major Dudley and Captain Bradford were also highly 
commended by the general for their zeal, activity, and intel 
ligence; together with most of the other officers who 
served on the expedition. 



Having brought our detail of the operations in the 
northwest to a conclusion, we propose in the last place to 
give some account of those transactions in the southwest, 
in which the militia from the States of Tennessee and 
Kentucky were chiefly concerned. 

We have seen in the early part of this history, that 
the intrigues of the British before the war were not con 
fined to the northwestern Indians alone, but were also 
extended to those residing south of Tennessee and west of 
Georgia in the Mississippi territory and the Floridas. 
When the battle of Tippecanoe was fought, Tecumseh was 
absent from his own country on a journey of intrigue 
among the southern Indians, for the purpose of engaging 
them in the British interest. It is probable that but few 
of the British agents in Canada were so enterprising as 
to traverse our extensive frontier from the northern lakes 
to the Mexican gulf in person; but they did not fail for 
many years before the war, and during its whole continu 
ance, to keep up a constant intercourse from the north 
west with the Creeks and other nations in the south, 
through the medium of the most active and influential 
chiefs in their employment. These intrigues, however, 
were attended with but very partial success. The Chicka- 
saws, Cherokees, and Choctaws remained friendly through 
the whole war; and only a few individuals the most 
abandoned and vicious of the Creek nation could be in- 



duced at ail early period to take up the tomahawk against 

In the spring of 1812, a party of five Creeks attacked 
and massacred two families in the frontier settlements 
near the Tennessee River, and made their escape un 
molested. Several other depredations were also com 
mitted in all the southern country during the same sea 
son by other lawless renegadoes of the same nation; and 
much apprehension w r as felt by our people, lest these mur 
ders and barbarities by scattering and inconsiderable par 
ties, should be the prelude to general hostilities ; and prep 
arations to meet such an event and avenge our wrongs 
were anxiously desired. The continuance of the evil at 
last excited the utmost indignation in the people of Ten 
nessee, and their legislature in the month of October 
had under consideration a preamble and resolutions on 
this subject, from which the following are extracted: 

"Resolved, That the governor of this State be directed 
to order into service on the frontiers, 10,000 of the militia 
of this State, that is, 5,000 on the frontier of West, and 
5,000 on the frontier of East Tennessee, for the purpose 
of preventing a repetition of those horrid scenes of sav 
age barbarity; and to punish with death the savage foe 
who dare make the attempt. 

"Resolved, That the governor be directed to send a 
messenger to the Creek nation forthwith, and demand a 
prompt surrender of all the murderers of the citizens of 
Tennessee; and if not delivered within twenty days after 
the return of said messenger, to order out a sufficient 
force to exterminate the Creek nation." 

It was not deemed necessary, however, to carry these 
exterminating resolutions into effect. About the time 
they were under consideration a grand national council 
was held bv the Creeks in which nearly all their tribes 


were amply represented. It terminated in a resolution to 
punish those who had committed hostilities upon us, to 
gether with an address of the most pacific character to 
Colonel Hawkins, the agent for the United States in the 
Creek nation. A considerable number of the murderers 
accordingly suffered for their crimes, some of them being 
executed and others punished in different ways. About 
the same time also an expedition upon a small scale was 
conducted by Colonel Newman, of Georgia, against some 
of the Seminole Indians residing further to the south, 
who were not considered by the Creeks as an intimate part 
of their nation. The colonel was successful in his enter 
prise, having beaten the enemy in several skirmishes in 
which they lost about fifty of their warriors. It was the 
opinion of Colonel Hawkins, and also of General Hamp 
ton, who passed through the Creek country during these 
transactions, that we might now safely rely on the peace 
ful conduct and friendship of all the Creeks with the ex 
ception of the Seminoles. 

Late in the fall, a detachment of 1,500 militia in 
fantry and 600 mounted volunteers were marched from 
West Tennessee, by order of the War Department, for 
the defense of the lower country. The foot troops de 
scended the river in boats under the immediate command 
of Major-General Andrew Jackson, of the Tennessee mili 
tia, whilst the mounted men under Colonel Coffee marched 
by and to Natchez, where both parties arrived and formed 
a junction early in February, 1813. In the latter part of 
the following month, they commenced their march home 
again, no occasion for their services having occurred in 
that quarter. Another small detachment of Tennessee 
volunteers in the meantime had marched under Colonel 
Williams, of East Tennessee, in search of adventures on 
the frontiers of Georgia. This party was 200 strong, and 


inarched early in December from Knoxville. Having 
reached St. Marys and formed a junction with a corps of 
200 mounted men in that place under Colonel Smith, the 
whole marched in February against the nearest towns 
of the Seminole Indians, who still continued hostile. 
Their expedition was completely successful. In three suc 
cessive battles the enemy were defeated with the loss of 
thirty-eight warriors killed and a considerable number in 
wounded and prisoners. The houses of their towns were 
burnt, all their corn was destroyed, and about 400 horses 
with an equal number of cattle were brought away; nor 
did the detachment leave their country as long as an 
enemy could be found or any property remained which 
could be useful to reinstate their shattered fortunes. 

The Spanish provinces of East and West Florida hav 
ing for some years past been in a revolutionary insurrec 
tional state; and the government of Spain being unable 
from its embarrassments in Europe to maintain its au 
thority over them; the American government now deter 
mined to occupy the town of Mobile, to which it had ac 
quired a title by the purchase of Louisiana, but which 
still remained in the possession of the Spanish authori 
ties. On the same grounds, that part of West Florida 
which lies on the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchar- 
train had already been taken, and incorporated with the 
State of Louisiana. To seize upon the balance of our 
rightful property by force had now become a necessary 
measure of precaution, lest that important place should 
fall into the hands of the British. Accordingly General 
Wilkinson, who still commanded at New Orleans, was 
ordered about the first of March, 1813, to wrest Mobile 
from the Spanish garrison at that place, unless its com 
mandant should voluntarily surrender it to us. Prepara 
tions were immediately made for an expedition against 


it, which was carried into execution with so much ad 
dress that the fort was invested about the middle of 
April, before the Spanish commandant had received any 
intimation of our approach. The general had taken with 
him a detachment of troops from New Orleans in our 
flotilla under Commodore Shaw and on the Bay of Mobile 
had formed a junction with another detachment under 
Lieutenant Colonel Bowyer from Fort Stoddart. With 
these he intended to take measures for reducing the fort, 
while Commodore Shaw was to prevent with his gun boats 
the approach of reinforcements by water from Pensacola. 
A summons to evacuate the place was immediately sent to 
the Spanish commandant with which he thought it most 
prudent to comply. About the same time a small Span 
ish garrison was driven from the Perdido by Colonel Car 
son which placed the most eastern extremity of the pur 
chased territory in our possession. 

It would doubtless have been good policy on the part 
of the American government, and it would certainly have 
been a justifiable course, to have seized and occupied the 
whole of the Floridas during the war; for as the Britsh 
were closely allied with the Spaniards, for whom they 
were then fighting against the French on the Spanish 
peninsula, the officers of Spain in the Floridas very ami 
cably afforded every assistance in their power to our 
enemies. In many instances they departed in the most 
flagrant manner from the character of a friendly neutral, 
even going so far as to embody their militia to fight with 
the enemy against us. But that of which we had most to 
complain was their instrumentality in exciting the Creek 
Indians to hostility. Although the British agents in Up 
per Canada were unable, through the medium of the 
northwestern Indians to excite those of the south to take 
up the tomahawk; yet the Spaniards in the Floridas, co- 


operating with the British agents in that quarter, were 
able at last to bring nearly the whole of the powerful 
Creek nation into the field against us. Whenever the 
British and Spaniards began to enforce their intrigues, 
by presents of arms and ammunition, and such articles 
of merchandise as either pleased the fancy, or gratified 
the wants of the savage, they soon became successful. 
Finding from their experience in the early part of the 
war that this would be the only effectual course with the 
southern Indians, they did not hesitate long in resorting 
to it. Had there been no other inducement, the mere 
gratification of that savage ferocity, which is such a con 
spicuous feature in the character of the modern British, 
would have impelled them to adopt it. The gold of that 
degenerate people is now always lavished freely, as the 
price of innocent blood. But by employing the Creek In 
dians, they doubtless expected also to derive much bene 
fit from drawing our troops and resources into the wilder 
ness, and producing a diversion in favor of any expedi 
tion, which might be attempted against the southern sec 
tion of the Union. 

At the very time of Wilkinson s expedition to occupy 
Mobile, the Spanish governor was intriguing with the In 
dians and proffering them supplies for engaging in the 
war with the British. A considerable number of Semi- 
noles and chiefs of the Creek nation were collected at 
Pensacola in April for the avowed purpose of receiving 
arms from the Spanish authority ; but the governor being 
anxious to extend his influence over a greater number and 
to effect a more formidable combination, informed them 
that he had been instructed to arm the whole nation, and 
could not therefore supply those who were present until 
a majority of the nation could be induced to join them. 
The chiefs were then immediately despatched to the dif- 


ferent towns with the instructions to hold councils with 
the other chiefs and warriors on this subject, and to in 
duce them if possible to accept the proffered bribe, which 
was at once the price and the means of committing bar 
barities on the American people. The emissaries were 
but too successful. A large proportion of the Creeks 
agreed to accept the tempting boon, and were accordingly 
supplied as speedily as practicable with arms and am 
munition from the British stores at Pensacola. A very 
powerful minority, however, still continued friendly to 
the United States and refused to have any participation 
with the British and their partizans. This led, in the 
present season, to a civil war in the Creek nation, and no 
doubt delayed the perpetration of barbarities on the 
American frontiers, for which they were now effectually 
excited by the British and Spaniards. 

Having witnessed the powerful effects of fanaticism 
on the northwestern Indians under the management of 
that miserable vagabond, the Wabash Prophet, the Brit 
ish agents from Canada had already been careful to in 
spire some of the Creek worthies with prophetic and mira 
culous powers. These prophets were now the leaders of 
the war party, being the most active and influential par 
tizans of the British; while those chiefs who had been the 
most active in procuring the punishment of the renega- 
does, who had murdered the American citizens were at 
the head of the party which was for peace in the nation 
and friendship with the United States. Colonel Hawkins, 
our agent, in conjunction with these chiefs, made every 
effort in their power for the preservation of peace; but 
it was all in vain; the most ferocious of the nation had 
accepted the British price and the implements for shed 
ding the blood of their best friends ; and nothing but the 
carnage of a bloody war could now satiate their fury. Skir- 



mishes and murders ensued among themselves; and the 
friendly party, which was much the weakest, implored the 
aid of the American arms to protect them and subdue 
their opponents. "If we are destroyed," said their chiefs 
to Colonel Hawkins, "before you aid us, you will then 
have the work to do yourselves, which will be bloody and 
attended with difficulties, as you do not know as well as 
we do the swamps and hiding places of those hatchers of 

The information given and the requests made by the 
friendly chiefs were not disregarded by the American peo 
ple. As soon as the proper authorities in the neighbor 
ing states and territories, and the government of the 
Union were apprised of the advancing hostility, prepara 
tions were made to meet the storm, and if possible to al 
lay it before it had burst on our defenseless frontiers. 
But sufficient time was not left to perfect our arrange 
ments and march to their towns before the dreadful havoc 
had commenced in the settlements of the Mobile country. 
The settlers in that quarter, well apprised of the Brit 
ish and Spanish intrigues, and of the supplies which the 
Indians had received from Pensacola, as well as of the 
progress of public sentiments and of hostile movements 
in the Creek nation had prepared themselves for the 
storm by collecting together and establishing temporary 
forts for their protection, according to the long estab 
lished custom of our people on every frontier exposed to 
savage incursions. Not less than twenty of those forts 
had been erected in the settlements above Fort Staddart, 
on the Tombigby and Alabama rivers. But from their 
number, many of them were necessarily weak; and the 
people in the latter part of the summer had so long ex 
pected an incursion into their settlements, that they began 
to be less apprehensive and vigilant; nor were they to be 


roused from this apathy by the most definite intelligence 
of approaching danger. 

About the twentieth of August, 1813, the Choctaw In 
dians brought information to the forts that within ten 
days, attacks would be made by three separate parties 
of Creek Indians on Fort Minis in the Tensaw settle 
ment which lies on the east side of the Alabama, nearly 
opposite to Fort Stoddart; on the forts situated in the 
forks between the Tombigby and Alabama rivers; and on 
the forts situated more immediately on the Tombigby. 
Fort Minis, however, in which there was a great number 
of people, and a large amount of property collected, ap 
pears to have been the primary object of attack. It con 
tained about twenty-four families and upwards of 130 
volunteer militia of the Mississippi territory under the 
command of Major Beasley making altogether about 400 
souls, including nearly 100 negroes and some half-breed 
Indians. Notwithstanding the intelligence communicated 
by the Choctaws, and the frequent discovery of Indians, 
in the neighborhood of the fort a few days before the at 
tack by negroes who were sent out on business; yet an 
unpardonable and most unaccountable degree of negli 
gence prevailed in the garrison. The commanding officer 
disbelieved the reports of the negroes and probably had 
but little faith in the information given by the Choctaws. 
To his incredulity and supiueness must the success of the 
enemy be chiefly attributed. 

On Monday morning about eleven o clock, the enemy 
had approached in a body through an open field within 
thirty paces of the gate, which was standing wide open 
before they were discovered by the garrison. A sentry 
then gave the alarm and the Indians raising their hideous 
warwhoop rushed in at the gate without opposition. 
Major .Beasley was near the place of entrance and was im- 


mediately shot through the body. He was still able, how 
ever, to give orders to his men to retire into the houses 
and secure their ammunition and then retired himself 
and either died of his wound or was destroyed in the de 
vastation, which ultimately closed the scene. By enter 
ing the gate the enemy had not completely gained the in 
terior of the fort. Its limits had lately been extended by 
erecting a new line of pickets on one side about fifty feet 
in advance of the old one which was still standing with 
the former gate-way through it unclosed. By entering 
the gate the Indians got possession only of the outer court, 
enclosed by the new pickets, and then fired through the 
gateway and port holes of the old pickets on our people 
who held possession of the interior. On the other sides 
of the fort the volunteers held the port holes and fired on 
the Indians who still remained on the outside. In this 
manner a fierce and bloody contest was maintained for 
several hours. The enemy in the meantime gained the 
summit of a blockhouse at one corner, but our troops suc 
ceeded in dislodging them before they could effect any 
thing important. At last, however, they succeeded in fir 
ing a house which stood near the pickets, and from that 
the flames were successively communicated to the other 
buildings in the fort. Despair now seized on the stout 
est hearts; destruction by the tomahawk or the flames 
seemed inevitable ; the only possible escape lay in the pro 
ject of cutting an opening through the pickets, rushing 
through the ranks of the enemy and securing safety by 
celerity of flight. This hopeless project was accordingly 
undertaken by the remains of the garrison and was exe 
cuted with so much gallantry and vigor that upwards of 
twenty succeeded in saving their lives. The rest of the 
people in the fort all perished by the flames and the toma 
hawk, except a few of the negroes and half-breed Indians. 


Most of the women and children had taken refuge in the 
upper story of the principle dwelling house where they 
were consumed in the conflagration to the great joy of 
the savage spectators. The whole number of persons de 
stroyed was considerably upwards of 300. 

The force of the enemy was not less than five, and was 
probably as high as 700. It has rarely happened, how 
ever, in the annals of savage warfare, that a force of that 
superiority has succeeded in capturing any fort, where 
the works and the garrison had only a tolerable degree of 
strength and perseverance. The advantages, gained by 
the surprise at the onset no doubt contributed essentially 
to their success; yet with all those advantages in their 
favor it required a degree of bravery and perseverance to 
succeed, which have rarely been displayed by savages in 
any similar attack. They fought closely and desperately 
for about four hours and sustained a loss it is believed 
of nearly 200 warriors. Such conduct could proceed only 
from their inordinate thirst for British presents, a fur 
ious fanaticism excited by their prophets, and a sanguine 
hope of success inspired by the surprise they effected at 
the commencement of the attack. After the fall of the 
fort, they roamed through the settlement, destroying the 
houses and farms and carrying off all the movable prop 
erty of the inhabitants to which their means of transpor 
tation were competent. 

In the meantime the preparations for marching into 
the Creek country were actively progressing in the states 
of Georgia and Tennessee. From the former the confines 
of the enemy were entered, about the middle of September, 
by an army upwards of 3,000 strong consisting chiefly of 
militia infantry under the command of General Floyd; 
from the latter an army still stronger, and chiefly com 
posed of volunteers, soon afterwards entered their conn- 


try in two divisions, one from West Tennessee under 
Major General Jackson, and the other from East Ten 
nessee under Major-General John Oocke. The legislature 
of Tennessee was in session when the news of the mas 
sacre at Fort Minis reached that State; and a law was 
immediately passed authorizing the governor to detach 
a corps of 3,500 men for the Creek campaign in addition 
to those Avho had been detached under the authority of 
the general government. It Avas thus that so large a force 
was sent into the field from that patriotic State. Meas 
ures Avere also taken in the Mississippi territory after the 
massacre at Fort Minis to assemble a more formidable 
force in the Mobile country; and about 1,500 men were 
accordingly collected at Fort Stoddart as speedily as prac 
ticable, consisting chiefly of the local militia and two 
regiments of volunteers from other parts of the territory 
all under the command of Brigadier General Flournoy 
of the U. S. army. The Choctaw Indians also declared 
Avar against the Creeks and tendered their services to 
co-operate Avith us in the commencing campaign. 

Early in November General Jackson had arrived and 
encamped with his army at a place called the Ten Is 
lands, on the Coosa River. Here he despatched General 
Coffee AA 7 ith 900 men from his brigade of cavalry and 
mounted riflemen to destroy the Tallushatche toAvns about 
eight miles distant at which place he had ascertained 
there Avas a collection of hostile Creeks. On the morning 
of the third of November, General Coffee arrived within 
a mile and a half of the principal toAvn where the enemy 
Avere posted and divided his command into two columns, 
the right being cavalry under Colonel Allcorn, and the 
left mounted riflemen under Colonel Cannon. The for 
mer was ordered to cross a creek which ran before them 
and to march up on the right of the town so as to en- 


circle it on that side; while the latter was to perform a 
similar movement on the left until the heads of the col 
umns had joined on the opposite side of the town which 
would thus be completely enclosed within our lines. This 
plan was executed correctly, each column keeping at such 
a distance from the town, which was situated in the 
woods, as not to be immediately discovered by the enemy. 
However, the Indians soon ascertained that our troops 
were approaching, and with drums beating and the war- 
whoop resounding prepared themselves for action; which 
was brought on in a few minutes by Captain Hammond, 
who had been sent within the circle of alignment to draw 
them from their houses. As soon as the Captain had 
shown his detachment near the town and had given the 
savages a distant fire, they rushed out against him in a 
furious manner. Retiring agreeably to the plan of battle 
adopted by the general, he soon led them out to the right 
column which gave them a general fire, charged upon 
them, and drove them back into their town. They now 
found themselves completely overpowered and cut off 
from the possibility of retreat; yet they still bravely 
maintained the contest with desperate valor. 

"They made all the resistance that an overpowered 
soldier could do they fought as long as one existed 
but their destruction was very soon completed. Our men 
rushed up to the doors of their houses and in a few min 
utes killed the last warrior." They "met death with all its 
horrors, without shrinking not one asked to be spared, 
but fought as long as they could stand or sit. In conse 
quence of their flying to their houses and mixing with 
their families, our men in killing the males without in 
tention killed and wounded a few of the squaws and 
children, which was regretted by every officer and soldier 
of the detachment, but which could not be avoided. 


It was believed that not one who was in the town es 
caped to carry the news of their signal defeat to their 
friends in other places. The whole number killed and 
counted was 186 but there was probably as many more 
killed and not found in the weeds as would make up the 
number of 200. The squaws and children captured 
amounted to eighty-four, many of whom were wounded. 
The loss in General Coffee s detachment was five killed 
and forty-one wounded, none of them mortally. The In 
dians fought a considerable part of the battle with the 
bow and arrow, each warrior being provided with arms 
of that description which he used after discharging his 
gun till a favorable opportunity for reloading occurred. 

This destruction at the Tallushatche town was con 
sidered, and not without reason, as a retaliation for the 
massacre at Fort Mims. The result in this instance was 
more complete, however, and accompanied with much less 
barbarity in the execution than in the former case where 
the enemy triumphed. There is also this striking differ 
ence between them, that at the Tallushatche the enemy 
compelled us to the unsparing carnage by the obstinacy 
and the manner of his resistance. No warrior was saved 
because none would accept life at our hands; but all the 
women and children were spared as far as it was practic 
able. Not so at Fort Mims indiscriminate massacre 
and conflagration was there the universal doom. 

In five days after the affair of Tallushatche, the enemy 
received another signal chastisement from the hands of 
General Jackson. On the evening of the seventh, the 
general was informed by a friendly Indian, who was sent 
express from Talladega, a fortified establishment of our 
friends, about thirty miles below the camp at Ten Is 
lands, that a large collection of hostile Creeks were en 
camped near that place, and were momently expected to 


attack and destroy it. The general immediately deter 
mined to march that night with all his disposable force 
and give them battle as quick as possible. Leaving every 
thing in his camp which could retard the rapidity of his 
march, he crossed the Coosa at Ten Islands and moved 
with such celerity that he was able to encamp in the 
night and give his men some rest and refreshment within 
six miles of the fort which he was marching to relieve. 
Before day the march was again resumed, and about sun 
rise the army was within half a mile of the hostile en 
campment. The order of battle was now formed; the in 
fantry were disposed in three lines, the militia on the left, 
and the volunteers on the right; the cavalry formed the 
extreme wings, thrown forward in a curve, with instruc 
tions to keep the rear of their columns, or interior end 
of their lines, connected with the flanks of the infantry, 
with a view to encircle and destroy the whole force of the 
enemy. A corps of cavalry was also held in reserve under 
Lieutenant Colonel Dyer. In this order the troops pro 
ceeded leisurely toAvards the enemy, while the advanced 
guard was pushed forward to engage them, and by re 
tiring to draw them within the wings of our army. The 
advance performed its duties in an excellent manner, en 
gaging the enemy very bravely, and giving them four or 
five destructive rounds before it began to retreat. This 
had the desired effect; the Indians no doubt believed, 
from the intrepidity of the attack, that the main part of 
our force was before them, and they pursued it with 
alacrity and vigor. The front line was now ordered to 
advance briskly and meet them; but a few companies of 
the militia in that line preferred the backward movement 
and began to retreat. The general to supply the vacancy 
immediately ordered the reserve to dismount and form in 
that line which was executed with much promptitude and 


effect. The retiring companies, finding the progress o 
the enemy thus arrested, were emboldened to rally and 
return to the onset. The fire soon became general, along 
the whole of the front line, and the contiguous portions 
of the wings. Our force, however, was too strong, and our 
fire too effectual for the contest to be long maintained by 
the savages; they soon began to retreat, though they 
found but little safety in such a measure. In their flight 
they were met at every turn and pursued in every direc 
tion. The right wing chased them with a most destruc 
tive fire to the mountains at the distance of three miles; 
and it was the opinion of the general that if he had not 
been compelled to dismount his reserve, scarcely one of 
the enemy could have escaped destruction. The victory, 
however, was very decisive; 290 bodies were counted, 
and no doubt many more were killed who were not dis 
covered. Our loss was fifteen killed and about the same 
number wounded. 

General Jackson now marched back without delay to 
his camp at Ten Islands, lest the enemy should discover 
its weakness in his absence and destroy his baggage, which 
he had left entirely unprotected. At the time of march 
ing from that place, he had momently expected the arrival 
of a detachment under General White, from the division 
of East Tennessee commanded by Major-General Cocke. 
It was originally intended, that the two divisions from 
Tennessee should form a junction in the Creek country, 
and act together under the immediate direction of Gen 
eral Jackson ; and a detachment from the eastern division 
had arrived near the camp at Ten Islands with this view, 
and had apprised General Jackson of its approach. On 
the evening of the 7th, relying on its advance, the gen 
eral sent an express to inform its commandant, General 
White, of the intended movement, and to order him to 


coine on by a forced march for the protection of the bag 
gage. This order was received; but soon after it another 
arrived from General Cocke, ordering the detachment 
back to his headquarters. General White thought proper 
to obey the latter, and immediately sent an express to 
inform General Jackson of this determination. 

The object of General Cocke in recalling White was 
to send a detachment under that officer against the Hill- 
abee towns of the hostile Creeks. On the llth of No 
vember, General White was accordingly detached on this 
enterprise, with a regiment of mounted infantry under 
the command of Colonel Burch, a battalion of cavalry un 
der Major Porter, and 300 Cherokee Indians commanded by 
Colonel Morgan. He had to march upwards of 100 miles 
through a rough country, to reach the object of his des 
tination. On the way he passed three towns belonging to 
the hostile Creeks, which were now evacuated two of them 
he burnt, and preserved the other in the expectation that 
it might be useful in the further operations of the army. 
Having arrived on the 17th, within six miles of the Hilla- 
bee town, where there was an assemblage of the enemy, 
the detachment was halted and arrangement made for the 
attack. Colonel Burch, with a considerable portion of the 
troops dismounted, and accompanied by Colonel Morgan 
with the Cherokee Indians, was sent forward in the night, 
with instructions to surround the town before day, and as 
soon as the light appeared, to commence the attack upon 
it. The night, however, was so extremely dark, that this 
detachment did not reach the town before daylight; yet 
they succeeded so completely in surprising and surround 
ing it, that the whole assemblage it contained was killed 
and captured by the troops on foot alone, without losing 
a drop of blood on their part. About sixty warriors were 
killed; and 250 warriors, squaws, and children were cap- 


tured. General White arrived with the mounted reserve, 
in time to have decided or improved the victory, had the 
resistance or flight of the enemy rendered his co-operation 
necessary. The troops subsisted themselves and their 
horses, on the supplies procured in the country of the en 
emy, during the greater part of this expedition, which 
lasted about two weeks. 

In the latter part of this month, a fourth Mctory was 
obtained over the Creeks, by the army of Georgia under 
the command of General Floyd. Having obtained infor 
mation, that a considerable force of the hostile Creeks 
were assembled at the town of Au-tos-see, on the south 
bank of the Talapoosa river, about twenty miles above its 
junction with the Coosa, General Floyd proceeded against 
them in the latter part of September, with a corps of 950 
militia, and about 400 friendly Indians. He arrived on 
the 28th near the town, and the dawn of the 29th, found 
his army arrayed in order of battle before the town, which 
was situated at the mouth of Caulebee creek. His plan 
had been, to surround the town completely, by extending 
his right to the creek above it, and his left to the river 
below it, while the friendly Indians occupied the opposite 
bank of the Talapoosa. For this purpose, the corps of 
Indians had been detached with instructions to cross the 
river above, and fall down so as to occupy the bank op 
posite the town, when the attack was made at daylight. 
But owing to the difficulty of crossing, and the coldness 
of the season, this part of the plan was not executed ; and 
when the day dawned, another town was discovered about 
500 yards below that which the army was prepared to at 
tack, which still further disconcerted the arrangements 
originally made. A portion of the troops were now de 
tached against the lower town, and the friendly Indians 
were sent over the creek, to prevent a retreat up the river. 


A vigorous attack was then made on the upper town, which 
was resisted with desperate bravery by its inhabitants. The 
deluded fanatics had been taught by their prophets to be 
lieve, that Au-tos-see was a sacred spot, on which no white 
man could assail them without inevitable destruction. They 
were now soon convinced, however, by the fire of our 
artillery and the points of our bayonets, that their sacred 
houses, with the utmost bravery they could display in 
their defence, would be wholly unavailing. They accord 
ingly began to fly in every direction, where there was any 
prospect of escape. By nine o clack they were completely 
driven from the plain, and both of their towns enveloped 
in flames. The exact amount of their killed was not as 
certained, but it was believed to be about 200. On our 
part there were eleven killed, and fifty-four wounded 
among the latter, General Floyd severely and his Adjutant- 
General Newman, slightly. As there were many other 
populous towns in this vicinity, which could send into the 
field a large number of warriors, General Floyd thought 
it most advisable to retire again to the Chatahoochee. 

After these signal defeats of the enemy in the month 
of September, the operations against the hostile Creeks 
experienced a temporary suspension. This was owing in 
a great measure, to the reduction of the Tennessee troops, 
by the citizens of that State returning home as their terms 
of service expired. The intrepid Jackson endeavored 
in vain to keep up a formidable force in the hostile country 
his fellow citizens who were with him in the field, would 
not volunteer the second time and join him in a winter 
campaign. He still, however, kept a sufficient force to 
gether to maintain his position and hold the barbarians 
in check, and exertions were soon made with success by 
the patriots of Tennessee, to reinforce him with new 
levies of volunteers. Before the middle of January, he was 


joined by a brigade of 800 mounted infantry, which en 
abled him again to commence active operations. But in 
the meantime an affair occurred in the Mobile country, 
and another with the army under Floyd, which it will be 
proper to notice in this place. 

About the middle of December, General Claibovne of 
the Mississippi volunteers, marched up the Alabama from 
Fort Claiborne, on an expedition against a neAV town, 
which had lately been built upwards of 100 miles above 
him on that river by Witherford, a chief who commanded 
at the massacre of Fort Mims. The force of General 
Claiborne was composed of regulars, volunteers, militia, 
and some Choctow Indians. Having arrived near the 
town, he prepared to attack it on the morning of the 23rd, 
with his troops divided into three columns. The enemy 
were apprised of his approach, and had chosen a position 
in advance of their town to give him battle. As our troops 
came in sight of their houses, they made a vigorous at 
tack on the right column, consisting of volunteers under 
the command of Colonel Carson. The centre was ordered 
to support the right, but before it could reach the point of 
action, the volunteers had gallantly driven the enemy from 
their position. Flying in every direction through the 
swamps and deep ravines, by which the town was en 
vironed, they soon completely eluded their pursuers, and 
gained the opposite side of the Alabama, where they had 
secreted their women and children on the first intelligence 
of our approach. They had left all their property however 
in the town, which contained about 200 houses the whole 
was now committed to the flames. In the house of Wither 
ford, a letter was found, from the Spanish governor at 
Pensacola to the heroes of Fort Mims, in which they were 
congratulated on their success in destroying the fort, and 
assured that he had used his best endeavors to procure 


more arms and ammunition for them from the Havanna. 
The enemy left thirty killed. Our loss was one killed and 
six wounded. 

The Creeks in the eastern section of the Nation at last 
conceived themselves sufficiently strong to commence of 
fensive operations against the troops under General Floyd. 
On the 27th of January, a formidable attack was made 
before day on his camp, about fifty miles west of the 
Chatahoochee, by a large assemblage of warriors, they stole 
up near the sentinels, fired upon them, and then rushed 
furiously against the lines of the camp. In a few minutes 
the action became general on the front and flanks, which 
were closely pressed by the savages, who boldly approached 
within thirty paces of the artillery. They were unable, 
however, to make any serious impression, and were soon 
compelled, by the well directed fire of the artillery and 
riflemen, followed at daylight by a charge of the bayonet, 
to fly in every direction for safety. The cavalry pursued 
them, and destroyed many in their flight. Thirty-seven 
dead bodies were found, and a great number of wounded 
made their escape. General Floyd lost seventeen killed, 
and one hundred and thirty-two wounded. 

When General Jackson was joined by the new brigade 
of volunteers from Tennessee, he immediately prepared 
himself for an excursion against the enemy. The volun 
teers combined with the force which had remained in the 
field, the most efficient part of which was an artillery 
company, with a six pounder, and a company of officers 
commanded by General Coffee, who had remained in serv 
ice after their men had left them, amounted in the whole to 
930 exclusive of Indians. The general had received intel 
ligence, that the hostile towns on the Tallapoosa, were col 
lecting their forces into one body, to make an attack on 
Fort Armstrong, where the remains of the eastern divi- 


sion were stationed; and he now determined to anticipate 
them by marching into their country, and giving them bat 
tle on their own ground. Having previously crossed the 
Coosa, he marched from the vicinity of Ten Islands on the 
17th of January, 1814, and on the next day reached his 
old battle ground at Talladega, where he was joined by a 
reinforcement of 300 Indians, chiefly of the friendly 
Creeks. Understanding that the enemy were concentrated, 
to the amount of 900, in a bend of the Tallapoosa, near a 
creek called Emucfau, he directed his march without de 
lay for that place. On the evening of the 21st, he arrived 
in the vicinity of Emucfau, and having discovered several 
Indian paths, that had lately been much travelled, from 
which he knew there must be a large force of the enemy 
in his neighborhood, he determined to encamp and recon 
noitre the country in the night. A strong position was 
selected, and an encampment formed in a hollow square, 
with every necessary arrangement to receive a night at 
tack. Spies were sent out, who returned about eleven 
o clock in the night with information, that they had dis 
covered a large encampment of the enemy at the distance 
of three miles ; and that from their whooping and dancing 
they seemed to be apprised of our approach ; and that in 
the opinion of an Indian spy, who saw them conveying 
;nvay their women and children, they intended either to 
attack our camp or make their escape before day. Pre 
pared either to receive an attack, or to commence an 
early pursuit if the enemy retreated, our men had noth 
ing to do but wait the result of their determination. Of 
this they were apprised about six o clock in the morning, 
by a vigorous attack on the left flank. Our troops main 
tained their ground with much firmness, and effectually 
repelled the onset of the savages. General Coffee, the Ad 
jutant-General Colonel Sittler, and the Inspector-General 


Colonel Carroll, were particularly active in encouraging 
the men to the performance of their duties. The battle 
raged on the left flank and left of the rear for half an 
hour, when the dawn of day enabled the general to prepare 
for a charge, which was gallantly led by General Coffee, 
and Colonels Carroll and Higgins. The enemy were com 
pletely routed at every point, and the friendly Indians 
having joined in pursuit, they were chased about two miles 
with great slaughter. 

The pursuit being over, General Coffee was detached 
with 400 men and the friendly Indians, to destroy the en 
campment of the enemy, unless he should find it so strong 
ly fortified, as to render it necessary to carry the six 
pounder against it. On examining its strength, he con 
cluded that the latter would be the most prudent course, 
and accordingly returned for that purpose. But he had 
been in camp a short time, when the enemy appeared in 
some force on the right flank, and began to fire on a party, 
who were looking for dead bodies, where some Indians had 
engaged them on guard in the night. General Coffee was 
immediately authorized at his request, to take 200 men 
and turn their left flank ; he was followed, however, by no 
more than fifty-four, chiefly officers of the dis banded 
volunteers. With these he bravely attacked the left of the 
enemy; and 200 of the friendly Indians were ordered, at 
the same time to assail them on their right. It was now 
discovered, however, that this attack was a feint on the 
part of the enemy, by which they designed to draw our 
attention and troops to the right, while their main force 
attacked the camp on the left, where they expected of 
course to find nothing but weakness and confusion; but 
General Jackson anticipating their scheme, had ordered 
the left flank to remain prepared in its place, and as soon 
as the alarm was given, he repaired to that quarter himself 


with a reinforcement. The whole line received the enemy 
with astonishing firmness, and after giving them a few 
fires were ordered to the charge, which was gallantly exe 
cuted under the direction of Colonels Carroll and Higgins. 
The Indians now fled precipitately, and were pursued to 
a considerable distance with a close and destructive fire. 

The friendly Indians who had been ordered to co-op 
erate with General Coffee on the right, had returned to the 
left when the attack commenced in that quarter; and the 
general was still contending with his fifty men, against a 
very superior force of the enemy, after the main contest 
had terminated. A hundred of our Indians were then sent 
to reinforce him, with \vhich he was able to charge the foe, 
and rout them completely with very considerable destruc 
tion. General Coffee was wounded, and his aide with 
three others was killed. 

The balance of this day was spent in burying the dead, 
taking care of the wounded, and fortifying the camp, lest 
another and more formidable night attack should be made : 
and General Jackson now determined to return the next 
day towards his former position on the Coosa river. 

"Many causes concurred," says the general, "to make 
such a measure necessary. As I had not set out prepared, 
or with a view, to make a permanent establishment, I con 
sidered it worse than useless to advance and destroy an 
empty encampment. I had indeed hoped to meet the enemy 
there, but having met and beaten them a little sooner, I 
did not think it necessary, or prudent, to proceed any 
further not necessary, because I had accomplished all I 
could expect to effect by marching to their encampments ; 
and bcause if it was proper to contend with, and weaken 
their forces still further, this object would be more cer 
tainly attained by commencing a return, which having 
to them the appearance of a retreat, would inspire them 
to pursue me not prudent, because of the number of my 
wounded; of the reinforcements from below, which the 


enemy might be expected to receive; of the starving con 
dition of my horses, they having had neither corn nor 
cane for two days and nights; of the scarcity of supplies 
for my men, the Indians who joined me at Talladega hav 
ing drawn none, and being wholly destitute; and because, 
if the enemy pursued me, as it was likely they would, 
the diversion in favor of General Floyd would be the more 
complete and effectual." 

The return was accordingly commenced the next day, 
and at night the camp was again fortified. On the morn 
ing of the 24th, an attack was expected, not only from the 
occurrences of the night, but because there was a danger 
ous defile not far from the camp, at the Enotachopco creek 
on the route on which the army was marching. The gen 
eral hence determined to cross the creek at a different 
place, where it was clear of reeds except immediately on 
its margin. Having issued a general order, prescribing the 
manner in which the men should be formed, in the event 
of an attack on the front, rear, or flanks; and having 
formed the front and rear guards, as well as the right 
and left columns; the general moved off his troops in 
regular order from the encampment. The creek was 
reached; the front guard with part of the flanks columns 
had crossed, the wounded in the center were over, and the 
artillery was entering the water, w r hen the alarm gun was 
heard in the rear. Confidently relying on the firmness of 
his troops, the general heard it with pleasure. Colonel 
Carroll was at the head of the center column of the rear 
guard; its right column was commanded by Colonel Per 
kins, and its left by Colonel Stump. Having selected the 
ground on which he was attacked, the general expected he 
would be able to cut off the assailants completely by wheel 
ing the flank columns on their pivots, recrossing the creek 
above and below, and falling upon the flanks and rear of 
the enemy. But when the order was given by Colonel 


Carroll, for the rear guard to halt and form, and the en 
emy began to fire upon it, instead of forming, it fled 
precipitately into the center of the army, carrying con 
sternation and confusion into the flank columns, and 
leaving but twenty-five men with Colonel Carroll to ar 
rest the progress of the pursuers. The militia appeared, 
as well as the enemy, to have considered the return of the 
army as a retreat from a superior conquering foe, with 
whom it was dangerous to contend. The confusion was 
not easily restored to order ; but in the mean time Colonel 
Carroll with his handful of men bravely maintained their 
post, as long as it was possible to resist such superior 
numbers ; and being then joined by Lieutenant Armstrong 
with the artillery, and Captain Russell with a company of 
spies, the contest was still continued with success. They 
now advanced to the top of the hill, in the rear creek, 
amidst a most galling fire from their numerous enemies, 
and maintained that commanding position, till the six 
pounder was dragged up, and discharged a few rounds of 
grape shot on the opposing host. The impression thus 
made, was followed by a charge, which put the enemy to 
flight; and by this time the frightened militia, having 
regained their spirits, had recrossed the creek in consid 
erable numbers, and were ready to join in the pursuit, 
which was vigorously pressed for the distance of two miles. 
The Indians appeared in their turn to have experienced 
a panic, for they fled in great precipitation, throwing 
away whatever might retard their flight . Too much praise 
cannot be bestowed on the brave little band of heroes, who 
arrested their progress and actually defeated them, after 
the main body had fled over the creek in confusion. Lieu 
tenant Armstrong fell mortally wounded immediately 
after the first fire from the six pounder. 


"My brave fellows," he exclaimed as he lav, "some of 
you may fall, but you must save the cannon." Several 
of them did fall at the same spot, covered with glory like 
their brave commander. 

The rest of the return march of the army, was effected 
without molestation. Although the signal success which 
attended every prior descent upon the enemy, was not ex 
perienced in this instance, yet the general had the satis 
faction to know, that he had accomplished in substance 
the principal objects of the expedition. The attack on 
Fort Armstrong was averted, a diversion was produced in 
favor of the Georgia troops, the numbers of the enemy were 
reduced, and they were taught that the ardor and perse 
verance of Jackson, would give them no respite from 
the toils of war, not even in the dead of winter, until they 
were totally subdued to peace and tranquillity. On the 
whole expedition, Jackson lost twenty-four men killed, 
and seventy-one wounded. The loss of the enemy was not 
exactly known, but it was ascertained that 189 warriors 
at least were killed. 

This excursion in January, was in fact but the pre 
cursor of another, and more decisive expedition to the 
same place, which was executed in the latter part of 
March. After the return of the general to the Coosa river, 
he was joined by large reinforcements from Tennessee, 
consisting of two brigades of volunteer militia under the 
command of Generals Dougherty and Johnson, and the reg 
iment of regulars under the command of Colonel Williams, 
besides several other smaller corps of different descrip 
tions. With these, combined with his former forces, Gen 
eral Jackson found himself in a condition to advance 
against his enemy about the 20th of March. Having 
changed his position since the former expedition, he now 
proceeded by a new route, and of course had a new road 


to open, upwards of fifty miles over the hills between the 
two rivers. 

On the morning of the 27th, he reached the bend of 
the Tallapoosa where the enemy was stationed, and which 
had before been the object of his destination. It is but three 
miles from the ground on which the battle was fought 
on the 22nd of January. The bend is in the form of a 
horse shoe, and has received that appellation from our 
people. The situation is remarkably strong by nature, 
and the savages had fortified it with a degree of skill and 
industry, which were not to be expected from the untu 
tored sons of the forest. Across the neck of the bend, 
where it opens towards the north, they had erected a 
breastwork of logs from five to eight feet high, possessing 
great compactness and strength, and extending to the 
river on both sides. Through this they had cut two ranges 
of port holes, suitable for the small arms with which they 
had to defend themselves. The direction of this wall had 
also been so contrived that an army could not approach it, 
without being exposed to a cross fire from the enemy ly 
ing in safety behind it. The enclosure contained about 
eighty acres of ground, and in the farthest extremity 
of the bend, there was a village of a moderate size. From 
the breastwork on the neck, a ridge of high land extended 
about half way to the village, the summit of which was 
comparatively open ground : but on its sides, and on the 
flat ground along the margin of the river, there had been 
a heavy forest, the large trees of which were now felled 
in such a manner, that every one formed a breastwork, 
from which the Indians could in safety assail their enemies 
in crossing the river, which was upwards of 100 yards wide 
and very deep, so that on every side, the position strong 
by nature, was rendered still stronger by art. 


Within this fortification the enemy had collected all 
their warriors from six towns on the Tallapoosa river, 
amounting in the whole to 1,000 men. Among them were 
several of the greatest prophets and chiefs in the nation, 
who had been the principal instigators of the war. Re 
lying on the strength of their position, their strength in 
numbers, and the prophetic assurances of success, which 
their fanatic leaders had liberally given them, they enter 
tained no doubt of repulsing our army with the utmost 
ease. The large force with General Jackson, and the spirit 
which animated his men, inspired him with an equal and 
better founded confidence, that he would be able to give 
them a signal defeat. 

Before the army reached the consecrated spot, General 
Coffee, was detached with 700 mounted men and 600 In 
dians, mostly Cherokees, under the command o* Colonel 
Morgan, with instructions to cross the river at a ford about 
three miles below, and coming up on the opposite side, to 
surround the bend in such a manner, as to prevent any of 
the enemy from escaping over the river. General Jackson 
with the balance of the army, then advanced slowly down 
the declining ground which led to the breastwork, and at 
half past 10 o clock, was ready to commence the attack. 
Two small pieces of cannon, a six and a three-pounder, 
under the direction of Captain Bradford, who had already 
distinguished himself in the northwest, were planted on a 
small eminence, within eighty yards of the breastwork at 
the nearest point, and 250 at the most distant, The in 
fantry were also formed for action, and a brisk fire com 
menced which was continued for two hours with but little 
intermission and not much effect. The artillery was 
directed at the breastwork, and the infantry fired upon 
the Indians, wherever they ventured to expose themselves 
to view; but the artillery was too light to batter down the 


works, and the insidious foe was too prudent to expose 
himself to unnecessary destruction. 

General Coffee had nearly completed the circuit, which 
he had been directed to take, when the firing commenced 
at the breastwork. He had already sent forward his In 
dians under Colonel Morgan to occupy the bank of the 
river, and now halted his mounted men about a quarter of 
a mile of the bend, with a view to intercept a reinforcement, 
which he expected would be sent up from the Oakfuskee 
village, about eight miles down the river. This precau 
tion, however, was unnecessary, for all the warriors of 
Oakfuskee were already in the bend. The Indians under 
Colonel Morgan occupied the whole extent of the exterior 
bank, in a few minutes after the first gun was fired, so as 
to render it impossible for an enemy to cross the river in 
safety. All the cowardly fugitives who attempted it at 
this stage of the battle, met with certain destruction. 

In the village which was situated in the remotest part 
of the bend from the breastwork, about 100 warriors were 
stationed, apparently to protect the women and children, 
and to prevent the passage of the river at that exposed 
point, Our Cherokees who occupied the opposite bank in 
view of them, at last became so impatient to engage them, 
and to participate in the thundering combat, that some 
of them plunged into the water, swam over, and returned 
with the canoes of the village, while their companions 
covered the enterprise, by firing over the river so as to 
keep off the enemy. The first who crossed in the canoes, 
remained under cover of the bank, till others had joined 
them to the amount of 200, Colonel Morgan and Captain 
Russell with the spies being of the number. They marched 
up then to the high ground in the middle of the fortifica 
tion, where they were assailed on every quarter but their 
rear, and that was kept open only by hard fighting, ami 


the constant approach of reinforcements, which were still 
crossing the river at the village. By this lodgment of the 
Cherokees, in the camp of the enemy, a considerable por 
tion of the river being left unguarded, General Coffee 
ordered up a sufficient number of his men, to preserve the 
chain unbroken round the bend. Captain Hammond with 
a company of rangers occupied the upper side, while 
Lieutenant Bean with forty men took possession of an 
island on the lower side, when their hopes of success had 

The battle having raged about two hours, without much 
execution being done at the breastwork by the artillery 
and infantry; and the river being effectually guarded by 
the Cherokees and mounted men, General Jackson at last 
determined to carry the breastwork by storm. This de 
termination was received with acclaim by the troops, by 
whom it was to be executed. They had entreated to be 
led to the charge with the most pressing importunity, and 
received the order which was now given with the strongest 
demonstrations of joy. The result was such as this temper 
of mind foretold. The regular troops led on by their intrep 
id and skillful commander Colonel Williams, and the gal 
lant Major Montgomery, were soon in possession of the out 
side of the breastwork; to which they were accompanied 
by the militia, with an intrepidity and firmness which 
could not have been excelled, and which has seldom been 
equalled by troops of any description. An obstinate con 
test was now maintained for a few minutes through the 
port holes with muzzle to muzzle in which many balls of 
the enemy were welded to the bayonets of our muskets. 
Our troops at last bravely mounted over the breastwork, 
and took possession of the opposite side. The event was no 
longer doubtful. A dreadful carnage and slaughter of the 
enemy ensued in every direction. Though many of them 


defended themselves with that bravery which desperation 
inspires, vet they were all at last entirely routed and cut to 
pieces. The whole margin of the river which surrounds 
the peninsula was strewed with the dead bodies of those 
who fled there in hopes they could effect their escape. But 
all who attempted to cross met inevitable destruction 
"not one escaped/ 7 says General Coffee; "very few ever 
reached the bank, and those few were killed the instant 
they landed." It was believed by those who had the best 
opportunities of knowing the fact, that not more than 
twenty escaped during the whole battle. Five hundred 
and fifty-seven dead bodies were counted and General 
Coffee estimated the number killed in the water to be at 
least 250 and probably nearly 300. These calculations, how 
ever, do not account for the number 1,000, which was de 
clared by the prisoners to have been the number of war 
riors on the peninsula. It appears to be certain that up 
wards of 800 were killed ; and it is probable that the whole 
number present was less than 1,000 and that more than 
twenty of them escaped. The slaughter continued till 
dark, for many concealed themselves in hiding places and 
were not immediately found by our men even on the fol 
lowing morning, sixteen were hunted up and destroyed 
from which it is extremely probable that a considerable 
number made their escape in the night. Three of their 
prophets, and one of them the most revered in the nation, 
were among the slain; and about 300 women and children 
with a few warriors were made prisoners. Such was the 
signal destruction which the British had bribed and in 
stigated these deluded fanatics to bring upon themselves 
from the Americans, who had for many years endeavored, 
with much labor, expense, and trouble to promote civiliza 
tion among them. We cannot forbear to c